Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What I did on my summer vacation -- wind farms!

I just got back from a fun getaway on Block Island RI, which is the home of the U.S.' first offshore wind farm.  This windfarm will provide enough clean energy to power 17,000 homes, including all of Block Island (replacing their diesel fuel).  People often think that the wind farms are "ugly", but I didn't think they were unsightly, and they certainly look a lot better than washed out cities from fossil-fuel caused sea level rise!  Check it out:


Friday, June 23, 2017

Summertime and the livin' is easy

DSC_0062


Meat-free Fridays should be super simple during the summer.  One of my favorite go-tos?  Pasta with fresh basil, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and pine nuts.  Just cook the pasta and then run it under cold water until cool.  Toss with olive oil, basil, tomatoes, pine nuts, and mozzarella.

Side dishes?  A nice salad and some Italian soysage.  My favorite soysage is LightLife Smart Sausage, Italian style.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Penguins and the dad-bod

Fathers week continues with the Emperor Penguin!  These birds play a major role in successfully raising their chicks in a harsh environment -- check it out:


Monday, June 19, 2017

Fathers.....week!

Let's celebrate Fathers Day a little longer -- this week we'll take a look at some of nature's outstanding fathers.  First stop, the seahorse!  In the past, I've written about why seahorses are cooler than thoroughbreds.  Now let's take a look at how they fare as fathers:


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mammal Monday (OK Tuesday) -- Prairie Dogs, the candy bar of the prairie

It's graduation week at my house, so not a lot of time for writing, thus I'm reposting a Mammal Monday favorite -- enjoy!

Today's Washington Post included an article about prairie conservation on U.S. farmlands, so I thought it might be interesting to take a look at prairie dogs for  Mammal Monday.  Earlier this year, I wrote about black footed ferrets and bison and their roles in the North American prairie habitat   The prairie dog is the species upon which the bison and ferrets depend.  It holds things together on the prairie, because it is the "keystone species" for this habitat.  A keystone species is a species that, in spite of its biomass, plays a pivotal role in its ecosystem.  The prairie dog definitely fills that bill on the prairie.  It's the key prey species for black footed ferrets.  Its burrowing lifestyle provides shelter for many other species.  And its "grooming" of the grass around the tunnel openings affects plant species that other animals depend on. 



And they're just so darn cute!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Soup for Syria


Soup for Syria: Building Peace through Food

If you buy only one cookbook this year, it should be Soup for Syria.  As described in the book jacket, "Acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors the world over have come together to help food relief efforts to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugees.  Each has contributed a recipe to this beautifully illustrated cookbook of delicious soups from around the world."

And these recipes are tasty too!  Here's a sample, the Curried Cauliflower Soup (my instructions here are slightly abridged from the original).

Ingredients

  • 2 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 small garlic cloves, chopped (I used my ever-convenient pre-chopped garlic from a jar...)
  • 1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or substitute 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
Instructions

  1. Heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic
  2. Add cauliflower and saute another minute or two.  Add in spices and salt and saute another couple of minutes
  3. Add stock, stir well, and simmer until cauliflower is soft
  4. Puree the soup in a blender, covering the hole in the lid with a towel.  You'll probably need to puree in 2 or 3 batches.
  5. Garnish with scallions
Makes 4-6 servings.  Enjoy!