Happiness Has a New Address – Tagged "Dulse and Rugosa" – Dulse & Rugosa
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    WOOF for Seaweed

    WOOF for Seaweed

    Seaweeds many nutritional benefits include being rich in iron, magnesium, iodine, and the omega-3 fatty acids.  Plus there's that great "umami" flavor.  Umami is Japanese for "pleasant savory taste".  These are the reasons we humans love to add seaweed to our diet- but what about our dogs? 

    Turns out seaweed is a great addition to our dog's diet.  Those same powerful nutrients that benefit humans help improve our dog's coat and skin.  Nori, the unseasoned sushi wraps can make great training treats for your dog.  That umami taste sensation is similar to a rich, meaty bone.

    If you are lucky enough to live near the beach, washed ashore seaweed is NOT a safe dog treat.  In general, my Puerto Rican street dog Tuffy eats a lot of gross things on the beach- but she's never shown an interest in beach seaweed.  The dangers are possible pollutants, salt poisoning and expansion as the dried seaweed expands in the tummy.  

    If you're looking for a good seaweed rich supplement for your dog check out the Maine company Source.  Susan Domizi developed a nutritional product to help her horse's health.  One of the problems of modern society is our soils may be depleted and not have all the essential micronutrients that our dogs need.  Source for dogs contains "selected seaweeds plus the added benefits of yeast cultures, brewers yeast, garlic powder, vitamin E, zinc and natural beef flavor."

    Source also makes a human supplement which I use but that's another blog!

    Find out more on the Source website- https://www.4source.com/product/source-plus-for-dogs/

    Find out more about seaweeds in general by visiting the Maine Seaweed Council website- http://www.seaweedcouncil.org/

     

    Happiness is a Long Hot Seaweed Bath

    Happiness is a Long Hot Seaweed Bath

    On my bucket list is a trip to Ireland.   Sadly Ireland is not on my calendar.  The next best thing is to treat myself to a seaweed spa day right at home.  It takes a bit of time, planning and bathroom cleaning- but I'm worth it and so are you!  Give yourself the gift of you.

     

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    Seaweed in the Kitchen

    Seaweed in the Kitchen

    I'm a cooking junkie.  I love to watch cooking shows, my favorites being Top Chef, Chopped and The Great British Baking show.  I also love cookbooks.  I often buy a regional cookbook as my souvenir from a trip.  The books most often checked out on my library card are cookbooks.

    I have been enjoying (and learning a lot) from Ocean Greens written by Lisette Kreischer & Marcel Schuttelaar.  In addition to enhancing the flavor of your food and adding some serious nutrition another reason to explore seaweeds in your kitchen is sustainability.  "On the cutting edge of food and sustainability, seaweed and sea vegetables are good both for you and—with the potential to drastically reduce our carbon footprint—for the planet" (quote from Ocean Greens website).

    One section I really loved was "Special Ingredients".   I tend to use seaweed as a spice and often reduce or eliminate the salt.  As I read thru there was a section about salt, especially sea salts.  Sea salts are more complex and nutritious than ordinary table salt.  In the book they prefer Danish smoked salts for their intense smokey aroma.  I'm totally thinking seafood as I'm writing- just the idea of that smokey aroma.  In addition to the intense aroma Danish salt is also high quality in terms of the salt making process and mineral content.  Being in Maine we have some great salt makers including the Maine Sea Salt Company.  My two favorites happen to be their Hickory Smoked and Dulse.  

    Another spice I'm eager to try with seaweed is Smoked Paprika.  According to Ocean Greens Smoked Paprika adds a deep meaty flavor.  Don't use regular Paprika but look for the smoked variety which is from a particular pepper cooked over an open flame.  

    An ingredient not mentioned in the book but that I particularly love with seaweed is dark rum.  Prannie Rhatigan's Irish Seaweed Kitchen introduced me to the world of baking with seaweeds.  Now whenever I am making a cake, muffin or brownie I replace the vanilla with chopped dulse soaked in dark rum.  I let it mellow together when I start mixing my batter and at the final few stirs fold it in.  It's totally yumminess.  Ocean Greens has some beautiful sweet recipes including Chocolate Chip and "Weed" cookies and a lovely Chocolate, Raspberry and Seaweed Cake.  I can't wait for my backyard raspberries to ripen.

    Bon appetite!

     

     

      

    Wannabe Wasteless Wedding- The Dress

    Wannabe Wasteless Wedding- The Dress

                                  Carly and her Maine Man are getting married!  

    Planning any celebratory event means compromises, and weddings are no exception.  It can be especially challenging if you want your event to be zero or low waste.

    Our general advice is to do the best you can, don't be too hard on yourself for mistakes and remember every action- no matter how small is better than nothing. 

    When thinking about a special occasion outfit it's important to think long term.  Whatever you decide to wear you should feel beautiful and comfortable.  Look for a style that is timeless and has room for body changes.  You know a year or two later- you might have gained or lost a few pounds.  You want that outfit to still look and feel good.

    I have a dress I bought years ago.  I wore it often to fancy work events.  I could change the look with jewelry.  And I don't think it's necessary to always have a new outfit.  The dress is lovely but the design is quite simple.  I also use it for Halloween as it made a great "Evil Queen" when I was a primary teacher.  Now with a few quick changes I can rock a mermaid at my October markets.  It's comfortable enough to set up and sell and that's important because you want to get milage out of an outfit.

    For Carly's wedding because we both like to sew we originally thought of making a dress.  We spent hours looking a fabric and patterns but honestly I was a bit worried about the actual sewing.  I love to sew but my skills are a bit random.  Last June, we were at the Old Port Festival in downtown Portland, ME and around the corner was an Anthropologie.  This brought back some sweet memories.

    Many years ago, Carly was a science teacher in Texas and I worked overseas.  I was visiting her and she told me she found the "perfect wedding dress" at Anthropologie.  It was such a beautiful dress and it was on sale.  We actually debated whether  she should buy it.  At the time she was single without a significant other and wondering what to do with her life.  We decided it was a bit premature.

    During the market we joked about going in and seeing if this shop had her wedding dress- and they did.  She wanted something simple that was easy to embellish.    Another important factor was the dress needed to be useful after the wedding.  Neither one of us wanted to spend money on a single occasion dress.

    Her dress has a bit of Marilyn Monroe flare which is perfect for her figure.  She is busy embroidery a circle that she can attach to the dress.  The only problem is- it's white.  That's the traditional color for wedding dresses but so easy to stain.  I figure she has two choices, she can dye it after the wedding to make it a soft neutral but not white color.  Or every time it gets a stain add a bit of pizzaz with a piece of embroidery.

    Some tips for a sustainable special occasion outfit-

    Buy something that makes you look and feel beautiful

    Look for a style that allows for body changes, gaining or loosing weight.

    Shop thrift, resell or vintage either locally or online.

    Support an indie business and hire someone to make a one of a kind outfit.

    Make your own.

    What are your tips for finding the perfect wannabe wasteless outfit?

     

     

    Exfoliate- Spring is in the Air

    Exfoliate- Spring is in the Air

    Scrubs are actually easy to make with common kitchen ingredients.  It's also fun during the summer months to dry flowers and herbs to add to your scrub.  Adding bits of summer can really help battle the winter blahs. 

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