Kate-Book, the website for Kates, by Kates, and about Kates http://kate-book.com The only website for Kates, by Kates, and about Kates Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:13:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Kathleen’s Kitchen: There’s a first time for everythinghttp://kate-book.com/kathleens-kitchen-theres-a-first-time-for-everything/ http://kate-book.com/kathleens-kitchen-theres-a-first-time-for-everything/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:12:28 +0000 Kathleen Neafsey http://kate-book.com/?p=9381 DSCF4529By:  Kathleen Neafsey

Indeed, there’s a first time for everything!  For me, this was my first time making dumplings.  I only vaguely remember having dumplings as a kid – and even then it was because a neighbor had made them.  I don’t ever recall my mother making them as part of any meal.  I could be wrong, and my siblings may beg to differ, but that’s my memory.

Browsing through a soup cookbook (of which I have many) one day, I discovered this recipe for chicken and vegetable stew with chive dumplings. This looked like it had the potential to be delicious, so I figured what the heck!  While it can be made without the dumplings, I welcomed the opportunity to try something new.  Not rocket science, I know, but a new and gluten free experience for me.  So here’s my version of the recipe, with some modifications.

Stew ingredients:

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3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 large celery stalks, diced

1 Tablespoon flour (Gluten free, in my case)

1 cup water

3 and 1/2 cups chicken broth ( 2- 14 ounce cans)

3/4 cup milk

1- 10 ounce package of frozen peas

Dumpling ingredients:

3/4 cup Bisquick gluten-free mix

1/3 cup milk

2 Tablespoons melted butter or margarine

1 egg

1/2 cup minced chives

Prepare stew:

In a small bowl, combine paprika and salt

Place chicken in a large container with lid, and pour in the paprika/salt combo.  Cover and shake so that chicken gets coated evenly.

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In a large soup or stock pot, over medium-high heat, heat one tablespoon of olive oil until hot.  Add chicken, and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside.

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Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to pot with drippings, and heat over medium heat until hot.  Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until vegetables are lightly browned and tender.

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In a cup, using a wire whisk or fork, stir flour and water until blended.  Add the flour mixture and chicken broth to the pot; heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally.

Return chicken to the pot and heat to boiling.

While the chicken stew is heating up, prepare the dumplings.

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I used a large soup spoon to scoop out the dumpling dough, using another spoon to push the dough off of the first spoon and into the stew. Once all of the dumplings are in the pot, cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until the dumplings are cooked through and tender – about 25 minutes.

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To complete the stew, stir in milk and peas, heat through – another ten minutes.

I, for one, was super happy with this stew and my first attempt at dumplings.  This is the perfect meal for the cool Autumn days ahead.  It’s even better the next day – that is, if there’s any left!  The perfect way to end this meal is with last month’s recipe found here for apple crumble!

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Kathleen’s Kitchen is a column running on Kate-book.com once a month. It is written by the amazing Kathleen Neafsey, who loves trying new recipes. Follow her on Twitter @dbmomkat. And make sure to look out for her amazingly fun column, Fabri-Kate.

 

 

 

 

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Adventures in Greening: Way to Go, Californiahttp://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-way-to-go-california/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-way-to-go-california/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:01:55 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9365 plasticBags_1459313c

By Catherine Moran

Almost two weeks ago, California became the first state to ban plastic bags. Starting next summer, single-use bags will no longer be offered in large summer markets and grocery stores. However, according to this Huffington Post article, bags at other retailers and bags used for vegetables, fruits, meats, and do not fall under this law. Convenience stores, pharmacies, and liquor stores in CA will have until 2016 before the law takes effect for them.

Grocers will be able to charge a 10 cent fee for paper bags, although this fee will be waived for those on public assistance. And, of course, you can always spend the money one time on a reusable canvas tote, which can be washed to keep away the germs. I know I’m biased, but this news makes me very excited. What doesn’t excite me is that plastic bag manufacturers are pushing back on the law, and they’ve already amassed some support.

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Another article caught my eye this week, coming from CA, about washing out recyclables. I always do what I can to wash out my containers, but the person posing the question in this Q&A raises a good point: washing out containers is a waste of water. The respondent provides some good advice for making sure your containers are clean without wasting water: use leftover dish-washing water, use a dry paper towel (which you can compost), or use a spatula to scrap containers clean.

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My personal recommendation, however, especially during pumpkin season, is to lick the containers clean. Have a great week, greenies!

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: Home Printing in the Futurehttp://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-home-printing-in-the-future/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-home-printing-in-the-future/#comments Sat, 04 Oct 2014 15:00:52 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9341 81ebVZtgeWL._SL1500_

By Catherine Moran

I stumbled upon this Kickstarter project too late to be a backer, but that won’t stop me from actively seeking out this printer once it’s hit the market. But, you think, printers aren’t the most eco-friendly product on the market; if you don’t recycle the cartridges (which you can with HP printer models, either by returning them to a store or mailing them back to the company in the pre-addressed envelope that comes with each cartridge) they become trash. And they’re so big, and are made of so much plastic…

Well, the future of printing is here. Designed to appeal to those who want to print on the go, the ZUtA Labs mobile Pocket Printer also appeals to those of us looking to reduce the amount of plastic in our lives, as well as the amount of Stuff that occupies our Space. The printer has a rechargeable battery (via USB), so it doesn’t need to be plugged in to print, and it can print from smartphones, tablets, or computers; anywhere, anytime.

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The printer is still in the early stages, only able to print at grayscale at the moment, and at a lower resolution than it will ultimately. The cartridge will most likely be something easily found in your local store, so it wouldn’t be an exclusive purchase from Zuta.

While it won’t hit the market until 2015 (with a price tag around $250), this is a product I am keeping my eye on. I’d love to pass along my clunky printer that only sometimes works and takes up an excessive amount of space in my New York apartment.

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Kate’s Book Club: Review of Jane Feather’s Trapped at the Altarhttp://kate-book.com/kates-book-club-review-of-jane-feathers-trapped-at-the-altar/ http://kate-book.com/kates-book-club-review-of-jane-feathers-trapped-at-the-altar/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:59:38 +0000 Kate E. Stephenson http://kate-book.com/?p=9355

In this first day of October 2014, I hereby call to order the 34th meeting of Kate’s Book Club. Every meeting, we shall be reading a tome either (a) penned by an author named Kate or (b) that includes a character named Kate or (c) that this Kate liked a whole lot and thinks you will too. If you missed our last meeting, you want to get caught up.

This week we review Jane Feather’s Trapped at the Altar. (No there is no Kate author or character here, but this Kate read the book and felt the need to put in her two cents.)

Kate’s Book Report:

Star crossed lovers or simply a silly young maiden? When Ariadne falls for poet Gabriel Fawcett she knows the relationship is destined for a bitter end. Ariadne, heiress to the ill-gotten Catholic Fairfax fortune, and Ivan, a distant cousin and heir to the Protestant Chalfont fortune, are fated to be married—much to Ariadne’s dismay. The grandparents of the two decide to heal the religious rift in the family and finagle a better political position in the royal court, taking the choice out of both their hands. But Ari holds out hope that she will be able to decide her life for herself, and define a love of her own.

As much as I love romance drama, much of Ari’s heartache is caused by her own foolish notions of freedom as heir, even though she is a woman in a time when women own nothing. Ari can’t see until it is almost too late (and the very last page of the book) that Ivan is the leading man women swoon over (even this woman). The story never quite fully develops and the ending is rushed. An enjoyable read, but one that might leave you wanting a bit more.

*** (3 stars)

I leave you with a sneak peak:

Ari . . . Ari, will you please stop climbing?” Ivor Chalfont stopped on the steep goat track leading up the sheer cliff from the river below. He looked in exasperation at the small figure climbing twenty yards ahead of him. He hadn’t a hope of catching her; he knew that from experience. Ariadne was small and lithe and astonishingly agile, particularly at climbing the towering cliffs, which sheltered their childhood home in a deep Somerset gorge. He glanced behind him. Far below, the River Wye sparkled in the warm late-summer sun, running peacefully between wide green banks. Cottages were clustered on either bank, smoke curling from chimneys. A few figures moved around, working in the neat gardens or fishing along the river. The sound of hammering rose in the quiet air from a man repairing a strut on the wooden bridge that spanned the river at its narrowest point. It was a peaceful, positively bucolic sight. On the surface. The reality was quite different, as Ivor well knew.

He cast his eyes upwards again. Ari was still climbing. She couldn’t really think she could escape the reality of the gorge, could she? But Ivor knew she wasn’t thinking that. She understood the facts of their life as well as he did.

He cupped his hands around his mouth and bellowed, “Ariadne. Stop, now.”

Ariadne heard him, as, indeed, she’d heard his every other call. Those she’d ignored, too locked into her world of furious frustration to pay any heed, but now reason and logic took over, besides which, it was never wise to try Ivor’s patience too far. She stopped on the track, turned carefully to look down at him so many feet below, then sat down on a rocky outcrop to the side of the track, hugging her knees, watching as he began to climb up to her.

His shadow fell over her a few minutes later, blocking out the sun’s warmth. She raised her eyes to look up at him. Ivor stood with his hands on his hips, breathing easily despite the steep climb. He was a tall, well-built man, with the strong, muscular physique of one accustomed to physical labor and life in the outdoors. His deep-set eyes were the astonishing blue of the Aegean Sea, and they surveyed her upturned face from beneath well-shaped russet-brown eyebrows with a mixture of exasperation and wry comprehension.

“There are times, Ari, when I’d happily wring your neck,” he declared, kicking a stone out of the path before sitting down on a large rock.

“You and half the valley,” she returned, looking back down the track to the peaceful scene below. “The elders are ready to burn me at the stake.”

He gave a short crack of laughter. “Not that, exactly, but I wouldn’t put it past them to lock you up and starve you into submission.”

She shrugged slim shoulders beneath a thin white shirt through which the tones of her skin showed delicately pink. “They wouldn’t succeed.”

“Maybe not,” he agreed, lifting his face to the sun, letting it graze his closed eyelids. “But they’re mad as fire, Ariadne, and they don’t understand why, now, you’re refusing to honor the betrothal.”

“I give that for their anger.” She snapped her fingers contemptuously. “I’ll not marry you, Ivor. There’s no point in discussing it.”

Ivor sighed. Ariadne was as stubborn as a mule and always had been. But in this situation, all the obstinacy of a team of mules would not win the day for her. “You may now own half the valley, dear girl, but you are still subject to your grandfather’s will. Our marriage was willed by Lord Daunt before his death . . . for God’s sake, you agreed to the betrothal just a few days ago. Your grandfather’s will is sacrosanct; you know that as well as I do. You have lived by Daunt rules all your life. The elders will make the wedding happen one way or another.”

“Forcible marriage is illegal in the laws of the land.”

“In name, maybe, but not in practice. You have a duty to obey your grandfather’s will, and here in the valley that is the law. Since when,” he added, “did Daunt and Chalfont obey any laws but their own?”

“I’ll run away.”

“How? You have no money, no means of travel. You would never get past the guards on horseback, and you could not bring Sphinx up this goat track. He would break a leg for sure.”

“You could help me.” She didn’t look at him as she said this.

“No,” he stated. “I could not. I would not if I could.”

“You could refuse to marry me.”

“No,” he repeated. “I could not. I would not if I could.”

Ariadne made no response, but a small sigh escaped her, and a little shiver ran across her shoulders. It wasn’t as if she had expected anything else. Ivor had much to gain from the marriage. If only her grandfather had not died so suddenly, just the day after the betrothal. With more time, she knew she could have persuaded him to release her from the engagement. She had always been able to win him over in the end, but it always took time and patience, and she’d agreed to the betrothal to buy herself that time. And then death had just crept in that night and taken him. His servant had found him dead in his bed, when the previous evening he had been hale and hearty, presiding over the Council meeting in his usual sharp and incisive fashion, celebrating his granddaughter’s betrothal with some of the finest wines in his cellar. Wines destined for the cellars of West Country gentry, liberated in the dark of the moon by Daunt raiders from the smugglers’ trains of pack mules going about their deliveries in the narrow Cornish lanes.

Ivor leaned across and took her hands from her lap, holding them in a tight grip. “Face it, Ari. Accept it. We will be married this day week. As soon as Lord Daunt is in his grave, we will be wed.”

Her gray eyes held his deep blue ones in a fierce stare as she tried to free her hands. “You know that I love someone else, Ivor. I cannot marry you. It would be dishonest.”

I received a copy of Trapped at the Altar by Jane Feather in exchange for an honest review.

Kate’s Book Club is a column on Kate-book.com featuring interviews with authors named Kate, as well as reviews of books starring Kate characters. It runs on Kate-book.com Wednesdays, and is written by the self-admitted bibliophile Kate E. Stephenson, who you should follow on Twitter here. Oh, and write to Kate to suggest authors and books we should read for future columns.

More Great Kate Reads:

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Kate’s Book Club: A Review of Kate Robbins’ Promised to the Highlanderhttp://kate-book.com/kates-book-club-a-review-of-kate-robbins-promised-to-the-highlander/ http://kate-book.com/kates-book-club-a-review-of-kate-robbins-promised-to-the-highlander/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:30:10 +0000 Kate E. Stephenson http://kate-book.com/?p=9331 In this fourth week of September 2014, I hereby call to order the 33rd meeting of Kate’s Book Club (Yes, I know we haven’t convened in a while). Every meeting, we shall be reading a tome either (a) penned by an author named Kate or (b) that includes a character named Kate or (c) that this Kate liked a whole lot and thinks you will too. If you missed our last meeting, you want to get caught up.

This week we review Kate Robbins new Highland Chiefs book, Promised to the Highlander.

Kate’s Book Report:

When the dark Sutherland clan leader declares open hostility on the MacKays and all of their supporters, Nessia Stephenson finds herself in grave danger. Her father brokers a marriage that will protect her from the marauders with the MacKay himself. But when Nessia comes into his household as his brother’s wife, the MacKay is faced with a force unlike any he’s ever experienced. Nessia is his dream woman come to life, and Nessia seems as much a slave to the erotic force that pulls them together as he.

The forbidden love is always an intriguing theme. While the plot here was not the most original (I guessed the conclusion long before I read it on the page), I was still happy to read this delightful book. The historical elements and the highland charm create a wonderfully romantic tableau in which it is believable for the Nessia and the MacKay to fall in love. With just enough pain and tension to give you a sense of triumph in the end, this is a nice nightstand book before bed.

* * * * (4 stars)

I leave you with a sneak peak (check out more on Kate’s website):

Promised to the Highlander, Excerpt
Tongue, Scotland, Late Harvest, 1429

“For a man who isn’t eager to meet his future wife, you’ve got quite a set of nerves there lad,” Fergus said to William.

William straightened his linen shirt and smoothed his tunic as he glared at Fergus. Yet, the comment was absorbed and William ceased his pacing to sit on a chair near the fire. Fergus watched his brother adjust his belt again. The young man wore his usual dress but had taken greater pains today to perfect his appearance. Fergus glanced down at his linen shirt and sleeveless leather tunic. William’s long hair was tied at his nape while Fergus’s was left hanging loose. He recalled having to take extra pains upon his betrothal. Thankfully those days had passed and he needn’t worry overly anymore. A young lass would surely find William’s neat, respectable appearance appealing. He hoped so, but before he could dwell on it further, a servant entered and announced the arrival of Thomas Stephenson, his daughter Nessia and several of their clansmen.

William sprang to his feet and crossed the floor in a few quick strides to greet them. He continued to fidget as Fergus sauntered up from behind.

“Thomas! Welcome. We thought we’d have to send out a search party soon,” Fergus said as the stout man turned the corner leading into the great hall.

“Aye, the road was a bit rough with a wagon in tow,” Thomas said. The man’s brow was streaked with sweat and he looked weary from his travels.

“We’ve had a lot of rains this harvest there’s no doubting that,” Fergus said.

In truth he would have gone searching himself had another hour passed. Earlier that day he’d heard more rumours about Ronan Sutherland. Apparently, the lad had agreed to his father’s suggestion and would commence his campaign in the coming days. Fergus sensed William stiffen beside him as Thomas began the introductions.

“Fergus, William, this is my brother Neville and these three are my sons, Colin, Robert, and Camden my youngest. And this is my daughter, Nessia.”

Fergus acknowledged each man in turn. When the introduction came to the girl and his gaze fell on her, his breath caught in his throat. With black hair and bright blue eyes she stood proud before him with her chin lifted and all the regal confidence of a noblewoman. She displayed no fear or reservation at all, something which was unusual in most men he met, but more so in a woman. The gentler sex usually cowered before him—not this lass.

Fergus stared at the girl, his heart drumming. His guts clenched as if he’d been punched. He had to force himself from moving toward her to touch her hair which looked like spun silk, for surely it could not be real. Fergus remembered his brother then and tore his gaze from her to find William’s eyes wide and his jaw slacked. An unexpected pang ran through him.

When he turned back it was to find her still staring at him, seemingly unabashed for staring openly at a man. A bold one, then. Fergus’s drew his brows together. What did she want?

Steamy, no? Yes! But let me know how you feel. Send me feedback!

I received a copy of Promised to the Highlander by Kate Robbins in exchange for an honest review.

Kate’s Book Club is a column on Kate-book.com featuring interviews with authors named Kate, as well as reviews of books starring Kate characters. It runs on Kate-book.com Wednesdays at 10:30am, and is written by the self-admitted bibliophile Kate E. Stephenson, who you should follow on Twitter here. Oh, and write to Kate to suggest authors and books we should read for future columns.

Other great Kate reads:

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Kathleen’s Kitchen: Non-traditionally speakinghttp://kate-book.com/kathleens-kitchen-non-traditionally-speaking/ http://kate-book.com/kathleens-kitchen-non-traditionally-speaking/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:00:52 +0000 Kathleen Neafsey http://kate-book.com/?p=9308 DSCF4566

By:  Kathleen Neafsey

Oh yes, it’s that time of year!  Yesterday was the first official day of Fall (and my birthday!) My daughters and I try to go apple picking every year, and it has grown exponentially into a family event; there were nine of us this past weekend.  So now the search is on for the many uses of apples.

I’m not such a huge fan of apple pie.  Let me rephrase that, I’m not a huge fan of pie crust.  I know there are people that are all about the crust, and on a never ending quest for the perfect crust.  Quite frankly, I’m more about the apples, or any other filling for that matter.  Instead of opting for the traditional apple pie, my go-to is for an apple crumble.  Warm sweet and tart apples topped with yummy, buttery crumbs!  So here you have it: my basic apple crumble recipe – feel free to tweak it as you go – a little more of this, a little less of that.

Here’s what you’ll need for the filling:

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* Five or six large apples – for this one I used two Granny Smith and three Red Delicious for a mix of tart and sweet

* 1/4 cup of white sugar

* One lemon, juiced (please forgive my juice from a plastic lemon, it was all I had on hand)

* One tablespoon of Minute tapioca (this is used to bind the filling so it doesn’t become a runny mess, and can usually be found near the pudding in the grocery store)

* 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Here’s what you’ll need for the crumbs:

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* One cup of chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

* One cup of all-purpose flour

* One and 1/4 cups of rolled oats

* 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

* One teaspoon of ground cinnamon

* dash of salt

* one stick (1/2 cup) of cold butter

And we’re off:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel, core, and slice the apples.  Again, non-traditionally, my apples are sliced in all shapes and sizes.  Uniformity is not my fortè.

DSCF4539Next:

Place the apples in a large mixing bowl, and add the sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, and lemon juice.  Toss until the apples are coated.  Pour into a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.

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Then:

In a large mixing bowl (I actually use the same one that I just used for the apples), mix together the nuts, flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Using a pastry cutter, your hands, or two forks work the cold butter into the flour mixture until crumbs are formed.

DSCF4544Now:

Top the apples evenly with the crumb mixture, and bake for about 45 minutes – until the apples are bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown.

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Now for my favorite part:

DSCF4582Serve warm and top with your favorite ice cream! This can be stored in the fridge and you can just cut what you want and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute to heat.

That’s it for this week.  I’m looking forward to enjoying my favorite season of the year, boots and sweaters, and the annual hunt for new apple recipes.  Happy Fall to you and yours!

Kathleen’s Kitchen is a column running on Kate-book.com once a month. It is written by the amazing Kathleen Neafsey, who loves trying new recipes. Follow her on Twitter @dbmomkat. And make sure to look out for her amazingly fun column, Fabri-Kate.

 

 

 

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Adventures in Greening: Pit Stophttp://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-pit-stop/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-pit-stop/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:00:26 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9295 8195Fr5KmzL._SL1500_

By Catherine Moran

I fell pretty behind in checking email this summer, which means I’m seeing a lot of great emails about many upcoming events that would have been right up my alley…if I’d seen the email two months ago.

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However, all was not lost, because I received this email from Brooklyn Based just in time for the early September heatwave. The link takes you to their review of six different natural deodorants. It’s a pretty thorough review of the six brands, and includes the Environmental Working Group cosmetic database’s toxicity rating, as well as a quick pro/con list for each. My favorite brand, Soapwalla, is featured here, and I’m not budging, but this is a good start for anyone looking for some guidance before experimenting with a more natural deodorant.

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True, it may be mid-September, but with the weather we’ve been having, it probably wouldn’t hurt to watch your deodorant game in case we have another uptick in the temperature before the month is through. Or, you know, if you tend to sometimes get sweaty.

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: Send Me Mailhttp://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-send-me-mail/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-send-me-mail/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:00:53 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9258 writing-a-letter

By Catherine Moran

It’s been an all-over-the-place sort of summer for me, so these posts have been a bit research-lite. So, I’m reaching out to ask: as the cooler months approach, and we’re all a bit more connected to our computers as we spend more time indoors, what would you like to see more of here? Product/book reviews? More adventures in cooking? I’ll be trying to include more global news about the environment, as well as more of the good stuff I’ve been including here. But I would love to hear what interests you. So, sign off in the comments, and enjoy these last few weeks of summer!

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Kathleen’s kitchen: Easy-peasy stove top dinnerhttp://kate-book.com/kathleens-kitchen-easy-peasy-stove-top-dinner/ http://kate-book.com/kathleens-kitchen-easy-peasy-stove-top-dinner/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:17:18 +0000 Kathleen Neafsey http://kate-book.com/?p=9267 DSCF3405By:  Kathleen Neafsey

As the dog-days of August are winding down – although to be truthful, we’ve had some pretty glorious days for late August on the East coast  – we’re beginning to tire of salads and dinners on the grill.  Personally, there are days when I just want some really hearty comfort food despite the heat. Alas, I don’t want to turn on the oven and heat up the house.  This dish is one that I’ve been throwing together for awhile now; it’s hearty and delicious without heating up the kitchen.

Another thing that makes this dish a winner is its versatility.  You can change, or add more vegetables.  I’ve made it with peas instead of green beans; my sister adds celery and carrots when she makes it. You can also cook all the components ahead of time and refrigerate them. After a long day of work, just come home and throw everything together in a large skillet and let them mingle til they’re heated throughout.

Here’s what you’ll need:

One pound sausage, pork or turkey, links or ring, sweet or hot – lots of choices!

Three large potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into chunks – I prefer red potatoes or Yukon Gold

One large onion, sliced

One can green beans

Salt and pepper to taste

First things first:

Scrub those potatoes, and cut them into -a little bigger than- bite size chunks.  Peel and slice the onion.  Rinse and drain the green beans.  Set everything aside.

Next:

Sprinkle salt in the bottom of a large skillet; add the sausage.  I learned the salt trick from my cooking teacher in high school – shout out to Mrs. Adele Thorjussen – she taught us when cooking meat to sprinkle salt in the bottom of a pan to keep it from sticking, thus avoiding any additional oil.

DSCF3396Then:

Put the potatoes in a large pot, and cover with water.  Place on medium-high heat and parboil for about 15 minutes.  You don’t want them to be cooked completely through because you’re still going to add them to the skillet with all the other ingredients and they will get too mushy.

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You’ll want to use the same method with the green beans; boil them for three to five minutes.

Using a colander, drain the potatoes and green beans together and let them hang out till they’re ready to join the sausage and onion.

When the sausage has been browned on both sides, and cooked slightly through, remove to a cutting board and slice into large chunks.  Return the sliced sausage to the skillet and add the onion.

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When the onion has become translucent, not browned, add the potatoes and green beans to the skillet.  Cover and cook on medium-low heat for another 15-20 minutes.

DSCF3403Once everything is mixed all together, season with salt and pepper to your liking.

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This was borne from not knowing what to have for dinner one day, and checking to see what I had on hand.  It’s one of my all-time favorite dishes, and it’s even better the next day as leftovers!  It’s really easy to make; there’s no added oils or rich sauces, just a wonderful melding of flavors and textures.

Well folks, enjoy the rest of your summer.  Remember your sunblock, stay cool and hydrated.  Before you know it, school bells will be ringing again and it will be time for apple picking, pumpkin picking, and a bevy of new recipes!

Kathleen’s Kitchen is a column running on Kate-book.com once a month. It is written by the amazing Kathleen Neafsey, who loves trying new recipes. Follow her on Twitter @dbmomkat. And make sure to look out for her amazingly fun column, Fabri-Kate

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Adventures in Greening: Cool-Off Throwbackhttp://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-cool-off-throwback/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-cool-off-throwback/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 16:00:09 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9252 By Catherine Moran

It’s hard to believe, but summer is slipping away, and it’s been an interesting one: really hot and humid for days, and then a bit chilly or pouring rain the next. For those chilly days, bundle up, and anticipate autumn!

For those hot days, take a peek at these tips for keeping cool in an Earth-friendly way.

Have a wonderful week, greenies!

 

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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