One of my favorite mantras includes a slightly different take on the three Rs “reuse, reduce, recycle.” I like to reuse, recycle, and repurpose. It’s important to be environmentally friendly all year round, but in honor of Earth Day, here are 3 ways you can “eco-tain” or in other words, be eco-friendly while entertaining!
1. Be a local-vore.
Buying food that is grown and produced locally supports your local farmers and community. Being a local-vore means that you are promoting energy conservation because less resources are expended during packaging and transporting goods. A good rule of thumb is to purchase foods that are grown within a 100 mile radius and anything further requires more transportation expense in the form of a larger carbon footprint.
2. Use earth-friendly products.
Nowadays, you can find products that are made from 100% recycled materials and are BPA free. Some products are even dishwasher safe and reusable. Other products are biodegradable or compostable, making them great for outdoor parties and picnics if accidentally left behind. Two of our favorite eco-flatware are recycled knives, forks and spoons and all purpose iHeart multipurpose utensil.
3. Clean with green.
When the party’s over, remember to always recycle or repurpose instead of throwing them in the trash. If you have to “trash,” use trash bags made from repurposed plastic for those items that just can’t be recycled and clean with green products! There are so many household cleaning products that have biodegradable formulas, so keep those in mind when you’re washing dishes and cleaning off table surfaces.
Tonight is Halloween and NYC is definitely a creepy place to be tonight in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy! Halloween has seriously been impacted by the hurricane, with the cancellation of the 39th Annual Village Halloween Parade and countless events and parties. Can really do much when 20% of NYC is without power and without public transportation.
I created The Frankenstorm cocktail, which only seemed fitting for the situation here an all along the eastern seaboard. It is a modified Hurricane Punch (of course) with a bloody dripping rim. Green in color with a frothy head, the Frankenstorm looks like many New Yorkers feel tonight.
Happy Halloween to all and Cheers!
1 oz. Ketel One Vodka
1 oz. Blue Curacao
2 oz. Orange Juice
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
For the Rim:
Karo syrup colored with red food coloring
(dip glass rims in syrup and turn right-side up an allow to drip down the sides)
green maraschino cherries
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all of the ingredients. Shake vigorously to froth the pineapple juice and strain into an ice filled highball glass rimmed with sugar blood. Serve with a green maraschino cherry and an orange wedge.
Memorial Day is THE party kick-off event of the summer entertaining season. Get the party started right with my Summer Entertaining Essentials for Summer entertaining on-the-go or on demand.
I will share my picks for this summer’s entertaining must-haves that will take you through every summer holiday and every day summer entertaining whenever they pop up. Also, I will ensure that you’ll be entertaining in style as he brings the latest fashions to your tabletop with his “colors of the season” entertaining décor tips… And throw away those paper plates, for good, because I have great tips on environmentally friendly, sustainable entertaining for your summer eco-taining arsenal.
Setting the table for the perfect summer entertaining on-the-go or on demand is as simple as 1-2-3!
First, start with the perfect bag of party tricks! I believe that keeping all your Summer entertaining essentials in one convenient and easy accessible place is key. My go-to Summer tote is make of Land’s End canvas and is the perfect eco-friendly Summer carrying bag made by Lands’ End. It is water resistant with plenty of storage for all your essentials.
Beach towels do double duty as picnic blankets or tablecloths. Fun vintage inspired pattern help set the festive tone. This beach towel, provided by Lands’ End is the perfect Vintage pattern tying in the color palette from the entire table.
Second, throw away those paper plates, for good! and opt for Bamboo plates, silverware, and serving pieces. These items, made by Core Bamboo, are made from 100% organically grown bamboo. They are finished with natural oils to make them food safe and the lacquer comes from natural cashew trees. If and when you do throw them away, they are 100% biodegradable and compostable, leaving you guilt free!
Thirdly, bring the hottest fashion colors to your Summer party with re-usable and disposable napkins. MY DRAP tear-off napkins are the only 100% cotton napkins on a roll that come in a variety of colors and sizes that can be mixed and matched for a mega dose of fashion colors. Guests get the feel of cloth napkins in a disposable that are good for the environment, making you “look marvelous” (and feel marvelous too)! The best part about these napkins is they can be washed and reused up to six times!
The perfect compliment to the MY DRAP napkins is the Table Chameleon Napkin Rings, which I designed and produced and are the perfect summer entertaining essential! The Table Chameleon Napkin Rings are designed to bring a bit of character to your table in whatever way you please with a variety of colors and styles. Easy to use, the 3/4″ thick hand-cut acrylic rings are held together with magnets and feature inserts in four different designs – London, Ada, Saturn and Miami – in the colors, red blue, orange, and green. To switch out the inserts, there are four simple steps: slide, slip, snap and create! All you have to do is slide the pieces apart, slip in the insert, snap the two pieces together and create the look you want for your table! For more information or to purchase The Table Chameleon, go to my website!
To be the ULTIMATE Eco-tainer, make sure you party like a Local-vore!
A local-vore is a person dedicated to eating food grown and produced locally. There are a lot of reasons to eat locally grown and produced foods.
- Less resources (primarily fossil fuels) are expended packaging and easy transporting from Farm to Table.
- It supports the local economy – more money remains in our local community.
- It is healthier – processing and preservatives are less important since the food doesn’t have to travel so far.
- It is safer and thus local-vores are less susceptible to foodborn illnesses.
- It is more honest – honesty in terms of the food source and the growing/producing process.
- And last but not least – it tastes better!
Here are a few examples for shopping for like a local-vore that I incorporated into this segment by shopping right here in NYC:
Asparagus – NJ Native
Tomatoes – NJ Native
- 2 lbs Green Seedless Grapes (washed and separated)
- 2 lbs Stilton (Blue Cheese) *
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 3 cups of shelled and chopped pistachio nuts
Pick and wash grapes, drying completely. Combine the Stilton cheese and cream cheese until smooth. To make cheese balls, evenly coated each grape with the cheese mixture, then roll in pistachio nuts to completely cover. Chill in refrigerator until cheese has hardened. Serve slightly chilled.
*if you don’t like Stilton, replace it with goat cheese and try coating fresh or dried fig quarters and roll in chopped dried cranberries or dried cherries.
For links to all The Golden Harvest recipes and tips, click here!
Grandma practices potions, spells, and hexes, but her craft has become a bit rusty with age. While not quite sure who’s mother she really is, the Addams Family treats her like one of their own.
Witch’s Brew (warm)
For spiced tea (serves 6):
4 cups Water
4 Whole Cloves
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 Whole All Spice
8 Juniper Berries
Pinch of ground Nutmeg
4 Lipton’s Tea bags
1 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac (per serving)
Splash of Orange Juice
Coffee Beans (aka Beetle Beans)
To make the tea: In a saucepan, bring water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, all spice, juniper and nutmeg to a boil. Using a sieve, strain the boiling water into a glass pitcher and add four tea bags to the mixture.
To make the cocktail: Add 1 oz. brandy or cognac and 4 oz of tea to the snifter and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and 3 coffee beans (aka beetle beans). Serve hot.
** To make non-alcoholic, omit brandy.
Frightening candy fingers on pretzel sticks
Wilton Candy Melts – Available in numerous colors and flavors
Melt chocolate in the microwave using the instructions on the packaging. Using the Wilton Candy Molds, fill each mold with a pretzel rod and the chocolate colors of your choice; refrigerate to harden. When hardened, slightly twist the tray to remove the Witch fingers.
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