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A Twist on Traditional Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving comes with all kinds of delicious favorite side dishes. Since we are in the office on Friday after Thanksgiving, we at OMI like to have a potluck at lunch where we bring a side dish with a twist to the classic recipes (as well as evolving them into our own organic creations). Here are a few of our favorites…

       

I myself am a wine lover, so when I found a recipe that included a sangria flavor with the traditional cranberry sauce, I knew that I would love it. Such a tasty rendition if you love the classic but want it a little different this year.

Sangria Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

1. organic lemon

1. organic lime

1. organic orange

3 cups fresh organic cranberries

1. container (16-ounce) frozen organic strawberries

1. cup red wine

1 1/2. cup raw organic turbinado sugar

Directions

1. From lemon, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 3 tablespoons juice. From lime, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. From orange, grate 1/2 teaspoon peel and squeeze 1/4 cup juice.

2. In 3-quart saucepan, combine lemon, lime, and orange peels, cranberries, strawberries, wine, and sugar; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon, lime, and orange juices.

3. Spoon cranberry sauce into serving bowl; cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours.

 

Here’s a way to try something new with stuffing. Add a few veggies you have never used before, or like this fun recipe, add wild rice and wild mushroom

 

Herb Wild Mushroom and Wild Rice Stuffing

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) organic butter


2 cups sliced wild mushrooms
( options to try: morel, oyster, trumpet, shiitake, chanterelle or porcini, in any combination)

1 cup chopped organic celery


1 cup chopped organic white onion


1 tablespoon chopped fresh organic thyme

1/4 chopped fresh organic Italian parsley

1 teaspoon sage, rubbed

1/4 teaspoon salt


1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

4 cups cooked organic wild rice


2 cups dry unseasoned bread cubes
(try gluten free bread)

1 ½  cup organic chicken broth

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery and onions; cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in seasonings.

2. Mix rice and bread cubes in large bowl; stir in vegetable mixture. Add broth; toss gently until well mixed. Spoon into 13×9-inch baking dish; cover.

3. Bake 30 minutes.

This new take on sweet potatoes with a streusel topping instead of the usual marshmallows makes for a delicious, sweet side.

Sweet Potato Gratin with Pecan-Ginger Streusel

3 pounds (about 6) medium organic sweet potatoes

1/2 cup apple cider or juice

1/4 cup organic Grade B maple syrup

3 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Streusel Topping

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (gluten free, coconut flour)

3 tablespoons packed organic light brown sugar

3 tablespoons cold organic unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

2 tablespoons chopped organic crystallized ginger

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly butter a shallow 2-quart baking or casserole dish.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until just barely tender when tested with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Pull off skin, then slice into 1-2″ thick rounds.

3. Arrange slices in prepared dish in concentric circles, overlapping slices slightly. In a liquid measuring cup, combine cider, syrup, butter and salt pour over potatoes. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make streusel topping:

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or combine mixture with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Fold in pecans and ginger.

2. Remove potatoes from oven. Uncover and sprinkle with Streusel Topping. Bake, uncovered, until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

3.  Refrigerate for up to 1 day. Reheat, covered, in a 375º F oven until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.

 

Whatever choices you make for your meal, we hope you have a happy holiday and give thanks.

Fall Changes Bring GREEN Decorations

There’s no need to spend money on elaborate centerpieces when you can find beautiful décor in your own backyard. Pinecones and fall leaves, or even evergreen branches can be used to add holiday color and fragrance. Here are my top 4 favorite tips:

1. Gather things to make a wreath that can be placed around a candle or vase, then reuse it by hanging it on your door for the holiday season. If you have never created a wreath HERE is an easy tutorial.


2. While shopping for holiday meals at a local farmer’s market, keep an eye out for edible items such as colorful squash and gourds, apples, pears, berries and much more. These can be used as centerpieces, or if you cut out the center and place a candle inside, can be used as candleholders.


3. A clear vase is great for centerpieces! Since you can change its contents to fit any holiday, you can find many items around your home to add to it. This Thanksgiving, try adding fall leaves or some citrus. Simply cut up and set in water with a floating candle. Add cranberries for a bit of that holiday red!

4. Round discs cut from large tree logs can make unique pie or cake plates, candleholders, or even chargers. When cutting firewood, my husband slices ½-1” thick discs off the end of a log for me. And if they get spilled on at dinner, I just toss them back in with the firewood.

Make your holiday as eco-centered as possible this year by using what nature provides. Have a colorful and conscious holiday!

Make It A Guinness…Cupcake!

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Every St. Patrick’s Day we have a company potluck where we indulge in tasty Irish-themed feast and employees bring something themed to share.  From green deviled eggs, to the traditional corned beef and cabbage, we eat like Irish Kings and Queens.

This year, I decided to try out a new recipe: Guinness and Bailey’s Irish Cupcakes.

First thought when I saw the title: MMMmmmmmmmm…

The recipe was easy to follow, and the cupcakes turned out better (and fabulously more rich) than I expected. Delicate, moist and oh-so-tasty, this cupcake recipe is going in my “Keeper” file.

Enjoy!

Guinness and Bailey’s Irish Cupcakes

Servings: Over 8

Cook Time: 60-120 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup stout (Guinness)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine the stout and the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add the stout/butter mixture and beat just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Allow cooling in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Ingredients for the Bailey’s buttercream frosting:

  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 4-8 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish Cream

Directions:

Blend with mixer until smooth.  Refrigerate before frosting cupcakes.

Teens Turning Green Hosts First GREEN UNIVERSITY

On December 2, Teens Turning Green hosted the very first Green University for 12 high school and college students who participated in this year’s Project Green Challenge.

Held in the Bay Area, the students were flown in from around the country to take part in a two-day eco-summit at which they presented their final presentations for PGC, in which a winner was chosen by an esteemed panel of judges.

Project Green Challenge is a 30-day eco lifestyle challenge in which students from around the country were presented with a challenge each day in order to educate and inspire them to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle. Thousands of students participated, representing over 500 campuses. Only 12 finalists were selected to attend Green University, however. Learn about all 12 finalists HERE.

“What my peers accomplished in 24-hour blocks was extraordinary!” said 20-year-old campaign co-Founder and TTG spokesperson Erin Schrode. “As young people, we are driven by passion and an understanding of our individual and collective impact. With resources at our fingertips, we can amplify messages at unimaginable speeds and scales. Empowered and educated, we have incredible power to affect change – and have begun to act, beginning with PGC!” Schrode – along with her mother, TTG Founder and Executive Director Judi Shils, 15 interns, and a highly dedicated PGC team – crafted this project from scratch over the past eight months. “It was a dream that we brought to life with some of the most extraordinary young leaders we have ever worked with. The journey is just beginning – the goal: a  sustainable and just world at the hands of these brilliant young activists.”

Mother/Daughter Founders Erin Schrode and Judi Shils

The finalists were joined by eco experts such as Lt. Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom; Susan Black of EO Products; Caitlin Bristol of eBay Green; Allison Cook of Story of Stuff Productions; Melissa DeSota of Steelcase Inc.; Maria Emmer-Aanes of Nature’s Path Organic Foods; Susie Hewson of Natracare; Zem Joaquin of ecofabulous; Rachna Kejriwal of Kejriwal Paper USA; Ashley Koff, R.D. of Ashley Koff Approved; David Lannon of Whole Foods Market; Domenica Peterson of Global Action Through Fashion; Debbie Raphael of the CA Department of Toxic Substance Control; Beth Rattner of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute; Maya Spaull of Fair Trade USA; and graduate students from Stanford Business School and the Presidio University Green MBA Program to name a few.

Raychel Santo, a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, was named the winner of Project Green Challenge. She received a number of amazing prizes, including a $5,000 education scholarship from sponsor Natracare, as well as a twin-size OMI mattress and an organic sheet set from OMI’s sister company, Lifekind. View the entire list of prizes HERE.

More about PCG Winner Raychel Santo:

PGC Winner Raychel Santo

Raychel is a sophomore double-major in Public Health Studies and Global Environmental Change & Sustainability at Johns Hopkins University. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, her passion for everything “green” began with her discovery of the sustainable food movement in her last few years of high school. As she voraciously read and watched every food and nutrition-related piece she could get her hands on, she stumbled into a passion that would fill her hunger for knowledge, justice, and a purpose in life. Upon arriving to college as a freshman, she co-founded a student group called Real Food Hopkins, a chapter of the national Real Food Challenge “committed to bringing local, sustainable, humane, and fair food to the Johns Hopkins campus and the surrounding Baltimore area.” Raychel is also a member of the JHU Students for Environmental Action club, the undergraduate representative on the JHU Office of Sustainability’s Student Advisory Committee, a Grassroots Leader for the national Real Food Challenge team, and a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, where she works for the Meatless Monday campaign and other Healthy Monday campaigns.

To learn more about Project Green Challenge and Teens Turning Green, visit the website HERE.  Find them on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated about future events, as well as next year’s Project Green Challenge.

2011 EMA Awards Wrap-Up

This year’s Environmental Media Association Awards ceremony was a huge success!  Not only did it feature more A-list celebrities than past year’s, but it also brought more media attention.  The goal of the organization is to use the power of celebrity to get the word out about eco, green, and environmental practices, and this year they did just that! With a green carpet packed with celebrities and environmental gurus, the attendance brought more news and media outlet coverage.

The award ceremony was followed by an organic dinner prepared by award-winning chefs and a silent auction.  OMI donated a Terra mattress for the auction which also included other enviromental and eco-concious items, with all proceeds going to various charities.

The Honorees:

Justin Timberlake - EMA Futures Award

Marc Nathanson – EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award

Southern California Edison – EMA Corporate Responsibility Award

PGA Green – EMA Green Production Award

The Winners:

Yogi Bear – Feature Film

Revenge of the Electric Car – Documentary

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – “Fracked” – Television Episodic Drama

Futurama – “The Futurama Holiday Spectacular” – Television Episodic Comedy

Real Time With Bill Maher – Episode 188 & HGTV Green Home 2011 - Reality Television

Bubble Guppies – Children’s Television

Take a look at the Highlight Video as well as pictures from the Awards below.

Amy Smart, Nicole Richie, Christa B. Allen, Kim Raver, Charlotte Ross

Aubrey Plaza, Darryl Hannah, Emily VanCamp, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Madeleline Stowe

Constance Zimmer, Wendie Malick, Perrey Reeves, Michelle Kwan, Justin Timberlake

What’s Wrong With Our Food System?

Inspiring words from our future generation.

Baby Maternity Magazine – What’s Hot? OMI Crib mattress!

OMI’s Organic Crib Mattress was featured in the October 2011 issue of Baby Maternity Magazine.  Get your digital copy now by clicking HERE and turn to page 14 to learn more about our healthy and safe mattresses made specially for infants.

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