Sunday, November 23, 2014

edible flowers, part 1

-- Quote of the Day -- 

"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, 
to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly."

 ~Henri Bergson

 -- Flowers - as Food, Part 1 -- 

Today's article is a bit large, so I split it in 2 parts, the 2nd half will be published on the 25th of this month... and was written by: Crazyflorist is an online florist in Delhi which provide fresh flowers with wide range of variety.They also offer a an online flower portal to send flowers online anywhere in Delhi, India.

Many fine dining restaurants make the use of flowers to enhance the flavors and textures of the food they offer. Flowers can be added to main dishes, desserts or salads for an exciting twist or can be used as a garnish. There are many beverages which infused with flowers. Flowers can also be used for making spreads and preserves, marinades and dressings, to cakes and puddings, appetizers and starters- the options are endless. All you need is some imagination and creativity.

However, it is also important to keep in mind that not all flowers are edible. So make sure that you depend on some reliable source when choosing flowers to consume. If possible, try to grow your own edible flowers. To ensure best flavor, choose fresh flowers and avoid the wilted ones. Also, flower buds can be bitter, so are better left alone. Some flowers can be eaten whole, except for bitter parts like stems and stamens.

If you suffer from any allergies, add flowers to your diet gradually as too much of them can aggravate your condition. Avoid eating flowers plucked from public parks or even from the florist as they could carry traces of pesticides or herbicides.

Keeping flowers wrapped in moist paper towels and refrigerating them will help them stay fresh longer. Read further to know some more about some flowers which can be eaten safely.

Violets make for a beautiful garnish for desserts and drinks and impart a sweet and floral aroma.

You can steam the bud as you would steam an artichoke and can eat the petals also.
Squash and pumpkin flowers
Make use of blossoms as stuffing as they also have a squash-like flavor. Stamens must be removed before consuming.
Sage blossoms
The flavor is same as the leaves of the herb.

The flowers taste the same as the herb, only slightly milder. For dishes that consist of rosemary, flowers can make a good garnish.

After removing the base, you get strong aroma and flavor containing petals. Float them on drinks or scatter on desserts or integrate them in jams. The darker roses have more flavor compared to lighter ones. All roses are edible.

Radish flowers
For a peppery touch, radish flowers are the perfect option.

Oregano flowers have the same taste as the herb, just slightly subtler.

Among the more popular edible flowers, nasturtiums are bright in color as well as flavor. The sweet-at-first flavor gives way to a peppery flavor towards the end and the seed pod is particularly flavorful, an interesting blend of sweet and spicy. The flowers can be stuffed, leaves can be added to salads, buds can be pickled and petals can be used as garnish.

The lilac blooms may smell and taste somewhat pungent, but lend a fresh citrusy aroma to any dish.

Lemon Berbena
These blossoms make great companions for teas and desserts.

Sweetly perfumed with a sweet and spicy flavor, lavender flowers can be added to sweet or savory delicacies.

Johnny Jump-up
These are delicious flowers and make a great addition to pastas, salads and fruit-based drinks and desserts.

Jasmine tea is quite popular. These flowers have a strong scent and should be used sparingly for sweet dishes.

Though they taste bland, hollyhock flowers make for a pretty garnish and are edible as well.

Flowers are a natural resources to feed soul. 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Greening the holidays

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“There is place in the world for any business t
hat takes care of its customers – after the sale.” 

~ Harvey MacKay

-- Shopping Tips -- 

Well it is Xmas season again and folks are planning for all kinds of gatherings, events, parties, feasts, gift giving, visiting, traveling... and a week or so later, there's New Years to face. 

Over the holidays, North American trash increases by 25% - about 25 million extra tons of garbage going to the landfill.

I thought that it would be appropriate to talk a little about greening these events. 

Simple things to ask one's self are:

 - Can we make, borrow or rent decorations? Can we choose compostable eco-friendly decorations (cedar bows, flower wreaths)?
- Can we make the gifts (i.e. containers of various baked goods, jams, etc.) or consider eco-friendly ones (house plants, garden seeds, rechargeable batteries, gift certificates...).
- Do the gifts have to be wrapped or bagged? and if so - what ways can we reduce the impact of the packaging?
- How can we reduce plastic and litter?
- Have we prepared compost collection and recycling collection containers? Are the containers placed so that they are easy to access, easy to use, well labeled?
- Is the food we are serving organic, grown locally, prepared locally?
- Have you considered including a donation box for local charities at your event?
- Choose eco-friendly lighting - LED or CFL 
- Can we use (or rent) fabric table cloths and napkins - washing and saving them for reuse?

To learn more about hosting green celebrations, conserve energy, save money, find craft projects, unique and eco-friendly gift ideas that perpetuate green consciousness, and much more... check out Trash Talk It's Easy To Be Green, Book 2

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Of Fear, Prejudice And Superstition

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“The populist authoritarianism that is the downside of political correctness means that anyone, sometimes it seems like everyone, can proclaim their grief and have it acknowledged.  

The victim culture, every sufferer grasping for their own Holocaust, ensures that anyone who feels offended can call for moderation, for dilution, and in the end, as is all too often the case, for censorship. 

 And censorship, that by-product of fear - stemming as it does not from some positive agenda, but from the desire to escape our own terrors and superstitions by imposing them on others - must surely be resisted.”  

~ Jonathon Green, "Did You Say 'Offensive?'

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Marketing Communication Tips

 -- Quote of the Day -- 

“Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business. Yes, and that is also true if you are a housewife, architect or engineer."

~ Dale Carnegie

-- Marketing Communication Tips -- 

* Today's article was written by: Patrick Smyth -  author, speaker, trainer, business coach, and principal at Enchanted Forest Press ( ), a boutique publisher providing complete custom publishing services to authors from concept to marketing.

Choosing the right words, in the right order, when writing a book is a challenge. Choosing the right words when writing about your book for marketing and promotions purposes can be equally challenging. Think about all of the different web sites, flyers, email newsletters, social media sites, web sites, and more where potential customers may read about your book.

The style and consistency of this communication has a significant long-term effect on your relationships with readers, and their inclination to buy your books. An optimal marketing writing style is customer or reader oriented with a positive and enthusiastic tone. Use active language to clarify the potential benefits of the book. Use short sentences and a conversational style. Write about real-life experiences and situations that make it easier for the reader to relate. Avoid lengthy eloquent paragraphs, extended sentences, and college-level language.

Here are some tips to keep in mind to make your marketing writing more effectual:
• Always reinforce the vision or purpose of your book. What is the central promise, theme, or moral of the story? All of your marketing writing must contain messages that accentuate your main purpose. Marketing writing must clarify the benefits that the reader can expect from reading the book. Being consistent on this theme will help to establish a relationship with readers into the future.

• Research similar work for improved sales. There is no harm in referring to the language and messages used by others to promote their work successfully. You book is unique, so you must adapt and customize it accordingly.

• Short and simple works best. Enthusiasm does not mean saying everything you can think of in marketing writing. You may need to work at it, but your guiding principle should be to reduce the quantity of written material. Write down the three or four central ideas and align everything else to them.

• Put a spotlight on benefits and results. Articulate benefits to the reader and those that may produce positive results for him or her. Don't write long paragraphs describing the details of the book or story. Highlight items that the reader will perceive to be of the highest value; they are the ones that will cause them to buy your book. All of the other detailed communication can be saved for subject-specific content on web sites, blog articles, books, and so on.

• Marketing writing must not be an instruction manual. Readers want to know quickly how they will benefit or solve specific problems or challenges by reading your book. Describing in great detail the steps of your process or method in marketing material does not allow them to easily relate to a positive outcome.

• Avoid jargon as much as possible. Use clear and straightforward language to shed light on tangible benefits and solutions to the reader. For example, the words 'mobile app' alone provide no benefit to the reader. However, 'timely access to sales records from anywhere' may be an actual benefit.

• Imagery must be consistent. If you use photographs to enhance your marketing writing, focus the images on the key benefit to the reader. Find interesting ways to articulate that message visually. Just as with the writing itself, avoid imagery showing details of technology or methodology, or flowcharts.

• Ask a friend. Solicit feedback from friends or business associates before you complete your marketing writing. Diverse points of view help to improve the clarity and enlarge the potential for more potential readers to grasp your messages easily.

• Use simple language. You do not need to write language that is perfect for English language textbooks. Short, conversational-style sentences are easier for the reader to engage with the material.

Do readers have a common perception about books in your category, or even your books in particular? Your marketing writing must reinforce those perceptions that align with your message, and it must consistently strive to correct those that do not. The words you choose and the style of your marketing writing will determine your success in converting bystanders into customers.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tips to Prevent Food Waste

    Let’s start with some food waste numbers…

As a society we waste 40% of the food produced on average. Households are estimated to be responsible for about 15% of that. While food waste is a valuable resource, sadly 90% of US food waste is landfilled. …now remember that those numbers are an average over all the foods produced. Before food reaches us there is a whole lot of stuff that goes on. Think about the land used, soil consumed or depleted, water and energy (including fossil fuels to run tractors etc.) all just to get the product harvested. Upon harvesting up 20-70% of the crop is wasted. Yep wasted. Why? Because consumers are expecting a pepper to look just so and that requires certain standards that have to be met. OK so here the product is harvested and then it is shipped to a warehouse where it is sorted and packaged and sent to various distribution outlets or direct to large processors (like soup or jam or juice companies). At the store we choose from the best of the best and put a plastic bag around it and take it to the till where it is bagged – then drive it home, store it and later cook it using your kitchen stove.  Its still kind of hard though for most of us to picture how that translates to our lunch. So let’s say we chose a burger… just regarding water consumed in making that available to you, one hamburger uses what a 90 min. shower would.

All of a sudden, food waste doesn’t seem like such a little thing. Now there are lots of programs out there that share food left over from conventions and catered events to feed the needy, food banks, various non-profit soup kitchens and missions for the poor etc. Some farmers have made arrangements with food producers or servers to reserve their kitchen waste to feed pigs or other animals. Some restaurants have invested in composting machines that break down even bones into a powdered dry fertilizer. And many cities are offering composting services. These – and others - help with some of the waste. But there’s lots that you can do personally that can have a big impact… here are 10 to think about and if you come up with others to add to that list – feel free to share them here in the comment section.

1st – menu plan for at least 3 days, or better – a week. Be sure to look up the recipes so you have everything on hand.

2nd – Clean and organize your kitchen and pantry areas so that you know what you have and how close it is to expiring. You can base your menu plan on what needs to be used up.

3rd – Freeze your leftovers, even small amounts – because these can be taken out to add to casseroles or soups, or to combine with other thawed leftovers to create a smorgasbord meal.

4th – Buy from local farmers or those as close to you as possible.

5th – Visit farmers markets and stores selling local produce, and don’t be as picky as you might have been in the past. It helps the farmer when all their produce sells, rather than waste – and you can often get deals on culls, or the last of the stuff in their bins at the end of market day.

6th – Start composting or participating in a compost service if it is available to you.

7th – Grow your own food, even if it is just a few herbs on the balcony or front step to start.

8th – Place a paper towel or unused paper napkin in each bag of fresh produce that is destined for the refrigerator, and seal the bag with a clip or twist tie. Foods stored this way will last longer.

9th – Choose food locations that buy from local farmers, or as close to home as possible.

10th – While dining out - take a small container from home with you and put your leftovers in the container. This means you aren’t consuming more packaging with your food. Or ask the server to bring a to-go container to your table. You can serve them at home over the next day or two, or freeze them for later use. You can also place them in your home compost bin. 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

eco-friendly communities

 -- Quote of the Day -- 

"Charisma is not so much getting people to like you as getting people to like themselves when you're around."

~ Robert Brault

 -- Positive News -- 

Kudos to 3 amazing cities within the US (Asheville, NC, Talent, OR, and Carrboro, NC) who have  joined a program known as "Bee City, USA"

To join this program, communities must create and instigate policies that help protect and restore bee colonies. Some of these policies might include promoting native bee-friendly plants to create habitat and food for them. Other policies might look at encouraging eco-friendly farming, organic gardens, creation of green space and installing specially designed gardens in public spaces from parks to school yards. 

Creating these spaces is not enough - there must be education as well. Therefore cities will need to plan for prominent signs that explain and educate and encourage patrons of those spaces about native bees, gardening and specific information about plants. 

Doing this has hidden future benefits such as increased use of public green spaces, potential classroom and course material, on sight hands on experience for volunteers, sharing of gardening information between generations, increased tourism, and media exposure.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Habitat for Humanity

 * Today's article was written by Krystal William...

What comes to mind at the word 'habitat'? Most people's answer will be something in relation to animals, such as polar bears struggling with global warming or the rare birds of the Galapagos, whose natural habitat has been reduced or altered by human activity. What gets sidelined in such associations is the fact that humans need a place to live, too-and human habitat is a burning issue throughout the world today, from the most industrialized to the developing countries and everywhere in-between. The recognition of a need to assist fellow humans in getting a roof over their heads has no greater advocate than the world-renowned organization Habitat for Humanity.

What does Habitat for Humanity do?

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 and now has branches in some 70 countries and all the states of the United States. Since its work started, the organization has collectively built over 800 thousand homes throughout the world-a number made even more impressive when you factor in the fact that each home was for a family and not for an individual.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been helped by the organization to obtain a place to call home, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers are behind the continuing success and beauty of the story. The most important element of the work Habitat for Humanity does is the sense of community it creates: gathering and donating materials and time and effort together in order to help out each other and be rewarded with an endurable legacy in the form of a home for a family that had heretofore struggled.

Contrary to many people's understanding, the homes built by Habitat for Humanity are not just giveaways that would teach the families in question complacency. On the contrary, obtaining a new or renovated home from the organization involves several hundred hours of labor as part of the home's construction, as well as mortgage payments and other financial obligations.

The organization is not in the business of simply giving out free homes-these homes are earned, worked for, built by the families that live in them afterwards. Instead of fostering a belief that things just come free in life, the approach taken by the Habitat for Humanity teaches perseverance, investment into work for a common goal, patience, and, of course, the practical skills involved.

Another myth associated with the organization deals with its adherence to a certain type of Christianity at the expense of others-importantly, while the organization is Christian, it is not linked to any particular church or denomination, nor are people of other faiths barred from participating in any way. The question for you now should be what you can do to help this organization or to participate in its work - the answer is simple: check out the Habitat for Humanity International website to find the branch nearest to you and start building someone's family home shortly.

Interestingly many businesses are supporters of non-profits like these. Veza Bands - for instance - an online retailer of cool, trendy and sporty awareness bracelets and wristbands, supports several charities including Habitat for Humanity ( ), Global Fund for Women, Action Against Hunger, Operation Homefront, and many more. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, you may visit Habitat for Humanity.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!