Happiness Has a New Address – Page 21 – Dulse & Rugosa
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    Island Popcorn- How to Make the Best Popcorn

    Out on Gotts Island, rainy days are a welcomed break from sunny farm work.  It’s time to relax with a favorite movie and a big bowl of popcorn.  Carly and I both love popcorn, in fact, everyone in the family loves popcorn.  Including Saff and Tuffy, the dogs.  To curl up on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn, a warm blanket and a bunch of snuggly animals is pure bliss.

    Rainy days are a chance to rest and relax.

    We don’t have a microwave out on the island and honestly microwaved popcorn is such a poor imitation of the real thing that it simply can not compare.  For the best corn, you need a heavy 3 qt lidded saucepan with a handle.  You also need a really nice popcorn bowl, one that is large enough to mix all the ingredients together and easy for a few people to share.

    Island Style Popcorn


    3 TBS high smoke point oil, coconut, peanut or canola, I like to be sure the saucepan is completely covered but not drenched in oil

    1/3 cup of popcorn, you should have a nice single layer of kernels

    Nutritional yeast, Sea Seasonings, Old Bay Seasonings, Cayenne Pepper

    Heat the oil, if you are using coconut oil make sure all the solids are melted

    Put 3-4 kernels in the pan, cover

    Once the kernels have popped your oil is ready.

    The next step is really important.  When I bypass it I always end up with unpopped and/or burnt kernels.

    Add the rest of the popcorn making an even layer

    Remove from the heat and wait 30 seconds.  This allows the popcorn to get to exactly the right temperature.

    Return to heat and let the popcorn pop.  shake the pan or hold a bit above the burner.  You should hear a steady pop, pop, pop.

    Occasionally lift the pan lid up to allow steam to escape.

    Once popping slows, your popcorn is ready.

    Transfer to a large bowl and if you like melt some butter in the popping pan.

    Now, you are ready to season your corn.

    Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy flavor and is packed with vitamins, minerals and proteins.

    Sea Seasonings add the flavors and nutrients from the sea  http://www.seaveg.com/

    Old Bay seasoning, it’s not just for seafood http://www.oldbay.com

    Cayenne pepper if you want a bit of heat

    Plastic Free Friday- BYOB

    Everyone knows the 3R’s- reduce, reuse and recycle but did you know the order of the R’s is important?  Reduce is the most planet friendly way to help our world and recycling is the least effective. One of the easiest ways to cut down on your plastic use is to BYOB- Bring Your Own Bags.

    BYOB- Bring Your Own Bags to reduce your plastic consumption.

    It’s easiest to start with your groceries and takes just a bit of organization.  Keep your weekly grocery bags handy in the car, that way they are easy to get.  One of the hardest parts for me was the quick trip for just a few items.  Now, I always have a few bags in my purse.  To keep the bulk of the bags down I love Baggu bags.  Their standard shopping bag comes in tons of cute, bright prints.  Super sturdy- they can hold a lot of groceries but have snaps and a pouch for some true space savings.  For regular grocery trips I prefer flat bottomed canvas bags- this allows for bottles and jars to stay upright.  Almost everyone knows about the importance of BYOB- find the bags you like and make a pledge to yourself to give up single use plastic grocery bags.

    Once you’ve made the BYOB grocery bag commitment you will start to notice how abundant plastic is in grocery stores.  Remember, the first R is the most important- reduce.   Avoid products that are over packaged.  Once I was debating over which mix of peppers to buy.  I bought the brand I usually buy only to get home to find they had changed their packaging and added an extra plastic bit.  That was the last time I purchased that particular brand.

    Shopping at Farmer’s Markets is one way to help cut down your plastic.  In general, farmers don’t over package- they want you to see and smell their wonderful offerings.  Buying from bulk bins also helps.  When you have a choice between plastic or glass- choose glass.  Find wines that still use natural corks instead of plastic corks.  Make how a product is packaged one of your buying decisions.  

    It’s important to take a step- however tentative or small.  You’re going to forget and mess but once you begin your personal plastic free journey there will be no going back.  It’s worth the effort.  

    Here are some resources


    Chef Jude Blereau tips and thoughts http://www.earthcarers.org.au/library/file/Plastic%20Free%20July/Toolbox%20-%20Living%20Plastic%20Free/Food-Jude%20Blereau%20storage%20&%20shopping.PDF

    My Favorite Cookbooks

    I love cookbooks- they are mini vacations.  In fact, while traveling I try to buy a regional cookbook as my trip souvenir.  I love to read about how someone discovered the joy of food, different ways to cook and new ingredients or twists on old standards.  Here are some of my favorite cookbooks.

    The Irish Seaweed Cookbook is filled with novel ways to seaweed.

    The Irish Seaweed Kitchen is my all time favorite cookbook.  I began my seaweed journey because I was looking for a natural solution to a chronically itchy scalp and seaweed gives me lasting relief.  But then I wanted to know all about seaweed.  Prannie Rhatigan’s book really opened my eyes and the photos are stunning.  She covers everything seaweed from starters, to main dishes but for me the revelation of using seaweeds in baked goods, especially paired with chocolates really changed my baking.  My book is well loved now and as familiar as an old friend.

    A newer book I really like is The CSA Cookbook- “No-waste recipes for cooking your way through a community supported agriculture box, farmer’s market or backyard bounty.”  There are so many recipes that tell you to “save the stems for another use” and you have no idea what the other use is.  Well, author Linda Ly has recipes for “other uses”.   How about kale stem pesto?  Or chard stalk humus?  The most interesting use of ingredients has to be using tomato leaves in pesto and sauce.  According to Linda, the leaves, “add another dimension, making it richer, more fragrant and more tomato-y”  I can’t wait to start experimenting.

    The CSA Cookbook is filled with ways to use every bit of harvest bounty.

    A great book for busy cooks is Food That Works.  Author Malia Dell has put together a comprehensive guide for busy people who want to eat good food and cut down on take out meals.  “Food That Works is a cookbook-guidebook hybrid that eases you into eating more meals from home and fewer meals out. It provides you with weekly meal plans to fill your calendar with wholesome, fresh dishes you already know and love (burgers, tacos, chili, BBQ chicken, and so on). “  Have you ever seen the meals in jars with beautiful layers?  Well, this cookbook will explain the method and before you know it you will be eating good food and feeling better.  

    My old favorite is The Settlement Cookbook- it has lasted longer than my marriage.  My sister gave it to me over 30 years ago.  It is so loved and my favorite page- brownies is covered with chocolate smears.  

    Do you have a favorite cookbook?





    The Benefits of Seaweed for Your Dog

    The Benefits of Seaweed for Your Dog

    Seaweed is great for humans but also our four legged friends.  There are two ways for seaweed to benefit your dog.  One is food- the inside.  The other- skin, the outside.  In or out seaweed is very beneficial for your dog.

     Have you thought about adding seaweed to your dog’s diet? Seaweed is a great “green food” for your dog.  Green foods are sea vegetables and some grasses.  Sea veggies are a great green food for “Fido” because they are so easy to digest.  Rich in amino acids and minerals which helps balance energy levels, strengthens the immune system and helps keep skin and coat healthy.

    Scientific studies about the benefits of seaweeds are still in the early stages but seaweeds may help reduce cancer and tumors.  Their properties help fight heavy metal accumulations and contain high levels of tryptophan which helps battle cancer cells.

    There are many ways to get seaweed into your dog’s diet.  An easy way is to buy edible seaweed at a health food store.  Look for seaweed that is in flakes or powder.  It’s not a good idea for your dog to consume large pieces of seaweed. 

    Benefits of seaweed for your dog.

                                          Graphic is from All Natural Pet Care

    One of my favorite Maine Seaweed companies- Vitamin Sea makes a great pet antioxidant blend.  It’s a careful blend that  “mixes the natural nutrient benefits of seaweed with the antioxidant power of Maine blueberries and cranberries. The antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other related conditions. Pets with chronic infections will also benefit from the natural antioxidant power. Seaweed provides many crucial nutrients every animal needs to live a long happy life."

    What we put on our outside is as important as what we put on our inside and seaweed can be very beneficial to a dog with hot spots or red itchy patches.  Dulse & Rugosa’s Seaweed Shampoo for dogs is great for all dogs but can work wonders for dogs with allergies or sensitive skin.

    Our soap starts with a base of Maine seaweed, hand harvested from the cool mineral rich waters near Acadia National Park.  We have also incorporated Neem Oil for its amazing insect fighting properties.  Neem oil can help fight fleas, ticks, parasites and mites naturally.  Our natural yet effective dog shampoo can help you replace harsh chemicals that leave skin itchy and raw.  Lightly scented with pet friendly essential oils which will leave your pooch looking and smelling great!

    And our bar is plastic free.  We know how much you love to walk and run in nature with your dog and using a plastic free shampoo helps make the world a better place for all of Earth's creatures.

    Seaweed can help sooth and calm your dog's irritated skin.

    Seaweed is good for you and your four legged friends.

    Visit All Natural Pet Care and check out their array of natural and safe products.


    Find out more about Vitamin Sea’s amazing Pet Supplements here