Pssst…. Money can't buy you love or...homegrown tomatoes

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Chef Candace owns and operates Urban Kitchen on Cherry Street, Tulsa, OK. She teaches cooking classes, caters and prepares a monthly chef's table wine dinner at the Kitchen.

"Understandably so, there is nothing so sad as those pale, pathetic tomato wannabes that overrun the produce sections during the off season...which is most of the year.  Consequently, during tomato season, people go nuts for the vine ripened, blood red beauties that we have the good fortune to have in Oklahoma."

It's a somewhat funny but realistic blog entry which will make even the least green thumbed reader smile…

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Pssst…. Stop using plastic produce bags -- please!

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Pssst! Wanna hear a nice, simple way to reduce your plastic use? OK, here it is. Stop using plastic produce bags at the grocery store!

I’m not a Plastic Avenger but the people at the “No Plastic Project” are. We all know that plastic pollutes and nod into submission that we should do more to stop using the crap. So here I am with a stick… reminding you that plastic is BAD! It is very good in many instances, but there are many uses which we can really do without. So stop by the “No Plastic Project” and get some ideas…


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Pssst…. Controversy Deepens Over Pesticides and Bee Collapse

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A controversial new study of honeybee deaths has deepened a bitter dispute over whether the developed world’s most popular pesticides are causing an ecological catastrophe.

Researchers report a direct link between hive health and dietary exposure to neonicotinoid pesticide linked to colony collapse disorder, the mysterious and massive die-off of bees across North America and Europe.

The real question is are you contributing to the die off of the bee population. This deterioration of the bee population is a real problem and something which you might not be (pun not intended) aware of… take a moment and ask yourself if you could be a little bit more considerate of our necessary friends the bees…

We really rely on them.

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Pssst.... Want to buy some tomatoes? Istanbul Style

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A cold, crisp sunny morning and Istanbul’s some 350 open-air, covered, permanent or bi-weekly street markets (pazar) are gearing up for another day’s brisk trading.

At least, that’s what all the stall holders are hoping, anyway. As the punters begin pushing their way through the often narrow streets or alleyways of the markets, such as Kadıköy’s famous “Balık Pazarı,” cries of “Buyurun!” -- variously (mis-)understood as “Come in!” or even “Help yourself!” -- or the popular “Hoşgeldiniz!” -- “Welcome!” -- punctuate their passage and add to the general cacophony that is the soundtrack of any public space in Turkey and most assuredly, in İstanbul.

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Pssst.... Got cookies?

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Erica Lucke Dean is having Girl Scout cookies withdrawal.

"Has the world ended and I didn’t get the memo?

I mean…it’s less than a week until March and I haven’t seen a single Girl Scout selling cookies. Isn’t it about that time? Has my internal clock reset itself? I distinctly feel the unshakeable craving for a line of Thin Mints, fresh from the freezer."

Somebody tell her it'll be ok...

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Pssst.... Hey, You! Want Some Herb…

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…bread? Missie Lee is talking about food — "Mediterranean Herb Bread, to be precise –so if you’re thinking about another kind of Herb — your uncle Herb or Herbert Hoover, perhaps? — well, that’s all you!*

When Miaaie made her Mediterranean Pork Loin , she thought an herby bread to go along with it would be lovely. So after she perused a few different bread recipes and developed her own take on herb bread!

And peoples, it tasted as yummy as it smells!

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Ps(s)st….over here! Welcome to (her) bitchin kitchen

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She is a self proclaimed foodie who lives (and loves) to cook!   This mother of 3 beautiful kids and the wife to a wonderful husband invites you to her bitchin kitchen.  Grab a fork and dive right in.

Shrinking violets need not apply!

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Pssst.... We’ve Got A West End (London) Christmas Secret

Okay, I’ll (Claire Williams) admit it. I love Christmas. I love everything about the festive season: the twinkly lights that adorn every shop window, the fires that crackle in cozy local pubs, the one-click ordering on Amazon that sorts everyone out their presents without me ever having to leave my dented spot on the sofa, and the beauty of Sky+, saving me ever having to miss a single corny Christmas movie whilst I party the nights away at various festive events.

One thing that signifies Christmas to me the most is our annual trip to see a show in the West End. Every year my friends and I traipse through the crowds in Leicester Square and queue up with everyone else in front of one of the variety of neon-lit theatres that decorate the streets. The only thing that lets it down? The less-than-great drudge of restaurants offering numerous variations on, let’s face it, the same congealed pizza and pasta rubbish over and over again.

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Pssst.... It's the sugar, not the fish.

Ever since I saw the film Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (which I loved), I've been binging a bit on nutrition documentaries. One I caught recently is called Chow Down.   It follows three people with serious health conditions who are put on a program to see if they can improve their health through a vegetarian diet.

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Pssst.... Does Starbucks have a secret menu?

I’ve been drinking Starbucks coffee for nearly fifteen years, and I’ve never heard of a “chocolate dalmatian” or a “green eye” — both of which are apparently included on the coffee chain’s secret menu.
Neither had the Starbucks barista I talked to this afternoon, but maybe he’s just on the outs with company secrets.
In case you were wondering, a chocolate dalmatian is a white-chocolate mocha with java chips and chocolate chips, and a green eye is simply three shots of espresso in a drip coffee. (That ought to wake you up.)

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