2016 is almost here, and with the New Year come New Year’s resolutions! Many people opt for popular resolutions like losing weight or traveling more. But what if this year you tried something a little different and tried to incorporate some eco-conscious resolutions?
Here are 15 resolutions to help get you started on becoming more eco-conscious:
- Implement a recycling system, or ensure that your current system is the best it can be
- Stop buying water bottles and use a reusable bottle
- Add some indoor plants for better air quality
- Unplug unused appliances and turn off unused lights
- Make your home more efficient by switching out old bulbs for longer-lasting energy-efficient light bulbs, or install a new digital thermostat for more accuracy and to better regulate the temperature while using less energy
- Go Paperless – stop paper bills
- Pay bills online
- Lower water temperature to conserve energy
- Repair, restore, and reuse items, when possible
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Adjust your thermostat one degree lower in the winter and one degree higher in the summer to help conserve energy
- Buy local produce to reduce your carbon footprint
- Take shorter showers
- Try to include a vegetarian meal in your weekly menu
- Enjoy the outdoors
This is only a short list of ideas. However, there are hundreds of ways we can make our lives more eco-conscious.
May your 2016 be a happy and healthy year!
From everyone at OMI we are wishing you and yours a happy holiday!
- The Can’t Sleep Colouring Book
Have a friend who is artistic and loves sleep? How about this amazing adult coloring book to help him or her get some better zzz’s at night!
- Night Light
Light up the room without bugging your partner! It’s motion activated, so it is only on when you are up.
- Aromatherapy Candles.
Reported to help with sleep and meditation, these are a great last-minute gift idea for just about anyone.
- Nighttime Beverages
Some people love coffee, but can’t drink it later in the day without fear of staying awake all night. Here is a great gift for the coffee lover who also loves to sleep!
Get them the perfect warm blanket that they can snuggle up in, either on the couch or in bed. Here’s our OMI thermal blanket, which is lightweight but so snuggly!
- Organic Eye Mask
For those who love to take naps or sleep in when the sun is already up, how about these great organic eye masks?
- Dream Journal
Have friends who always tell you stories of their crazy dreams? How about this awesome dream journal?
- Namaste in Bed
Here’s a gift idea for your yogi friend who also loves to catch up on those extra hours of sleep.
- Sound Machine
Some people need a little extra help getting to sleep. If you know anyone who might have trouble, try the gift of a sound machine to help lull them back to sleep.
Everyone loves a great pair of pajamas. For some it is even a Christmas tradition to get a new pair of pj’s every year!
- Alarm Clock
How about a gift for the person who likes to sleep a little too much? This particular alarm clock is also for the caffeine lover, as it brews a fresh cup of coffee as part of the alarm system.
As we gear up for Thanksgiving, we have the turkeys prepped and the menu planned. If you’re like me, breakfast is the last thing on my mind. Breakfast shouldn’t be too complicated, because from the moment the coffee is brewing, I am busy.
To help make the morning more enjoyable and less stressful, here are several recipes that are quick, easy and delicious. Some of these recipes you can make the night before and reheat that morning. They can even become a new yearly tradition.
Crustless Zucchini and Basil Mini-Quiches
Makes 4 Dozen
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 ¼ cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for pan
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 small zucchini, grated
- ¼ cup grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil, finely chopped
Heat oven to 450°F.
Prepare Batter: Put the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisking steadily, slowly pour in a 1/2 cup of milk, mixing until quite smooth. Whisk in the whole eggs and egg yolks, mixing again until smooth, then gradually whisk in the rest of the milk, the cream, the salt, and the nutmeg. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to one day. If using the next day, be sure to re-whisk.
Prepare Zucchini Mixture: In a nonstick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add grated zucchini and stir until just softened, another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Oil mini muffin tins well. Put a pinch of grated cheese, a teaspoon of zucchini mixture, and a pinch of chopped fresh basil, into each muffin cup. Pour 1 tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup.
Bake until the quiches puff and start to turn golden, 15-18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then carefully run a paring knife around the rim of each muffin cup. Carefully lift each quiche out of its cup.
Mini quiches freeze very well. Let cool, then freeze in a single layer in a covered container. Reheat on a cookie sheet in a 400° oven for about 5-10 minutes.
Spiced Crock-Pot Porridge
Makes about eight 1-cup servings; recipe can be doubled.
- 2 cups steel-cut oats
- 8 cups water
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped apricots
- ½ cup chopped dates
- ½ cup chopped figs or raisins
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, split, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1 orange
Toppings: Chopped roasted nuts, jam, fresh fruit, more dried fruit, milk, yogurt, leftover eggnog
Combine everything except the orange zest and toppings in the bowl of a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Set the cooker on its lowest cook setting (“LOW” or 8-10 hours), and leave overnight.
If you happen to get up during the night, give the porridge a stir as you pass by. If not, no worries.
In the morning, break up the thin film that forms over the top of the porridge and stir it in. Scrape the sides and bottom. Stir in the orange zest.
Serve with toppings. Leftover porridge will keep refrigerated for at least a week. Reheat with a little milk or water to make creamy again.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
1 egg, plus enough milk to make 3/4 cup
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat oven 425° F
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and pinch of salt in a bowl.
Add butter and mix in a processor on “pulse,” or rub together with your fingertips until it looks like a crumble or bread crumbs.
Break an egg in to a measuring cup and add milk up to the 3/4 cup mark, and lightly beat with a fork.
Add the egg/milk mixture to dry ingredients and mix just until well combined. (Do not overmix).
Feel free to add extras at this step, such as lemon zest, cranberries, blueberries, chocolate chips, raisins, pieces of apple, or currants. There are unlimited possibilities!
Place spoonfuls of the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
Tip: Keep on eye on them, because depending on the size you make, they may cook more quickly. Also, leave some space in between the scones because they grow. Serve plain or with butter or jam.
Eat up and enjoy!
Thank you to all the service members, active and veterans, who have served our country. Today we honor you.
The leaves are changing color, the weather is getting cooler, and pumpkin-flavored foods and drinks are coming out left and right. Well, to fulfill that craving for delicious pumpkin treats and to celebrate the start of Autumn, here is an amazingly tasty recipe for the best snickerdoodles ever!
Ingredients for the cookies:
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. freshly-ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients for the filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients for the cinnamon-sugar coating:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- Dash of allspice
To make the cookies, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in the pumpkin puree. Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. (If you have any more dry streaks on the bottom, fold together gently with a spatula until just combined.) Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
While the dough chills, make the filling. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Cover and chill this as well (for at least half an hour).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and spices for the coating thoroughly. Take one tablespoon of dough and flatten it into a pancake shape. Place one teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of the pancake. Form another tablespoon of dough into an equally-sized pancake shape, and place on top, keeping the cream cheese in the middle. Gently pinch together the edges of the dough around the cream cheese to seal, then gently roll into a ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Repeat with the remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing the dough balls 2-3 inches apart. Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water to moisten slightly. Then dip it in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to flatten the dough balls slightly. (They won’t really flatten on their own, though they will puff slightly.) Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch and the tops begin to crackle. Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or ENJOY right away!