Making Japanese Kokedama’s For Indoors Or Out

Still life with blooming violet and garden shovel over grey background

japanese grass planted the kodedama method

Japanese Grass Planted The Kodedama Method -Image credit: Cafe Maria

Kokedama is a Japanese variant of the bonsai. Basically, kokedama, translation from Japanese literally means “moss ball.”

It is the practice of removing a plant with its roots from a planter or pot, then surrounding the roots with a mud cake, then wrapped with moss, and held together with string.

This type of planting works well with succulent plants, such as those that are placed in doors, as well as herbs, and other out door plants.

The Telegraph a newspaper distributed in the United Kingdom, says that the kokedama method of planting started in Japan, and skipped over to the Netherlands before finding its way to the United States, and since 2015 the method has found its way to England and into the hearts of plant lovers there.

Collage of Fedor Van der Valk ‘String Gardens’Fedor Van der Valk of the Netherlands acknowledged as the king of contemporary kokedama, took the planting method one step further and suspended his moss wrapped botanicals from pulleys. Mr. Van der Valk calls his creations string gardens.

There’s nothing new though about hanging garden’s. King Nebuchadnezzar of ancient Babylon indulged his queen with what is now one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the hanging gardens of Babylon, built around 600 B.C.

Marisa Lopez of Saving My Culture, says that kokedamas are elegant, and can be placed in any environment or in your garden.

This technique provides a simpler alternative to the bonsai, and is easy to grow – even for people who do not have much time to take care of plants.

Would you like to learn how to make your own Japanese kokedama to hang out in your garden from your trees or other support?

Lowe’s has a 40 second video demonstrating the ease of making kokedamas for inside your house or out in your garden.

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The Go Green Initiative Starts In Your Home

The Go Green Initiative Starts In Your homeIn 2002 the “Go Green Initiative” was started in Pleasanton, California by Jill Buck. The program is all about environmental education and a stewardship program that is located in all 50 US states and in 13 other countries.

The goals of the initiative are to teach and help others learn to conserve and protect natural resources for future generations, and to protect human health through environmental stewardship. Their focus is on…

  1. Recycling and Waste
  2. Water
  3. Energy

What does it mean to “Go G.R.E.E.N.?”

Generate less waste

Recycle everything that cannot be reused

Educate the community on eco-friendly options

Evaluate the environmental impact of actions

Nourish discussions and activities that integrate environmental education into existing curriculum

children running at schoolThough the “Go Green Initiative” is all about helping schools create a campus-wide culture of conservation by teaching kids how to be environmental stewards, we all can contribute to the initiative, though we may not be in school.

Do you have school aged children, or grandchildren in your home? Why not set an example for them by getting involved with the Go Green Initiative, starting in your home. How? By using household cleaners that are earth friendly.

One of the goals of “The Go Green Foundation” is to educate young people about climate change, global warming the earth in a woman's hand with green grass and blue sky in the back groundcrisis and sustainable living practices (Go Green Foundation).

Let’s focus on the later, sustainable living practices.

Going green and using the power of all natural green products to clean your home, can help keep you and your family healthy, as well as keep the environment healthy. This is a great place to start, that is to initiate, and practice sustainable living at home.

Here are some great examples of all natural green products to clean house, that you can prepare at home in your very own kitchen.

Cleaning Wood Floors

1/2 cup white vinegar

3 drops orange oil

3 drops lemon oil

3 drops grapefruit oil

cleaning wood floors with earth friendly products2 drops tea tree oil

1 quart water

Put into a hand sprayer and apply to wood floor, and clean with a damp mop.

General Purpose Bathroom Cleaner

 General Purpose Bathroom Cleaner 1/2 cup baking soda

1/4 cup vinegar

3 drops tea tree oil

2 drops eucalyptus oil

1 drop thyme oil

 5 drops orange oil

5 drops lemon oil

Carpet Cleaner

8 ounces baking soda

5 drops grapefruit oil

 Mix ingredients in a jar, covered with a lid. Shake out on to carpet and vacuum up. It is also recommended for use in a steam cleaner when cleaning carpets.

Carpet Cleaner

cleaning the carpot with all natural earth friendly cleaners 8 ounces baking soda

5 drops grapefruit oil

Mix ingredients in a jar, covered with a lid. Shake out on to carpet and vacuum up. It is also recommended for use in a steam cleaner when cleaning carpets.

Bathroom Mold and Mildew Cleaner

 Bathroom Mold and Mildew Cleaner4 ounces water

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

3 drops lemon oil

1 drop clove oil

5 drops tea tree oil

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle, and spray onto tile and other surfaces that have mold or mildew, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing off.

Dish Washing Soap

 1/2 cup castile soap

1/2 cup vinegar

1 quart water

6 drops lemon oil

natural earth friendly dish soap2 drops geranium oil

3 drops tea tree oil

Mix in a soap dispenser, and add to dish water, and mix in.

Castile soap originating in the Castile region of Spain, is not the same as caster oil soap. Castile soap is made from 100% olive oil, were as caster oil soap, is made from the caster seed, and therefore is considered a vegetable based soap.

The More You Know

Old Farmers 2016 AlmanacYou will find Wikipedia and other sources referring to castile soap as a vegetable based soap made from 100% olive oil, when in fact olives are not a vegetable, but a fruit.

The natural all green recipes were adapted from the Herbal Remedies Magazine – published by Harris Farmers almanac.

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Roasted Trout with Baby Potatoes and Asparagus

Roasted Trout with Baby Potatoes and AsparagusTrout is one of the healthiest fish you can include in your diet, says Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. Some would conclude that farmed raise fish is better for you as it is raised in fresh water protected from environmental hazards (EH). The protection from EH is great, but is farmed fish over wild fish better for you? Is farmed fish equal to wild caught fish?

Trout born in the wild eat just about anything, like young zoo plankton, fish eggs, small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, insects and even mice. In dense habitats with aquatic vegetation, rainbow trout often have the opportunity to eat arthropods that fall into the stream (National Wildlife Federation).

Farmed trout is fed a formulated fish feed, and each feed company has their own recipe. Feeds are made with fish meal, and fish oil combined with other ingredients like wheat, soybean meal, and poultry by-product meal. Notice the difference in the diet? Are fish meant to eat chicken, soy or wheat? A wild trouts diet shows otherwise.

Fish species evaluated by the USDA, found that farm-raised fish contained more total fat than their wild counterparts. Rainbow trout showed little difference in fat. Some could conclude that has to be good, the more fat the more omega-3 fatty acids the fish contains. Not necessarily. The extra fat in farmed-fish is inflammation causing omega-6 (Nutritional Health and Fitness).

Enough of the fishy information, now for our featured recipe: Roasted Trout with Baby Potatoes and Asparagus.

You will need:

1 pound baby new potatoes

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut in half crosswise

2 tablespoons olive oil

Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper corns

2 whole rainbow trout, gutted

Half a lemon, thinly sliced

1 bunch thyme (lemon thyme if you have it)

Heat oven to 425 degrees

boiling baby potatoesPlace potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with water to cover potatoes within 1-inch. Bring to a boil and cook until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.asparagus and cooked baby potatoes mixed with olive oil salt and pepperIn a large bowl add salt, pepper, olive oil, trimmed asparagus and cooked potatoes. Mix vegetables to coat with oil.

ready to roast baby potatoes and asparagusArrange vegetables in a 9 X 13 inch glass baking pan, and set aside.

rubbed fresh crushed pepper cornsRub the fish inside and out with the crushed pepper corns. Next stuff the fish with a fresh sprig or two of thyme and a lemon slice cut in two.

ready to roast - Roasted Trout with Baby Potatoes and AsparagusArrange fish over vegetables in glass baking pan, and add 3 or 4 lemon slices. Place into heated oven and cooked 25 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp and tender and the fish is cooked through.

Fresh roasted trout showing the amazing flavors of freh thyme, cruched pepper corns and lemon slicesRemove fish and let cool about 5 minutes.

Roasted Trout with Baby Potatoes and AsparagusPlate and serve.

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Orange Mandarin Chicken

Orange Mandarin Chicken

An Asian dish called Orange Chicken is actually an American Chinese dish of Hunan origin. The Orange Chicken that is served at North American fast food restaurants consists of chopped, battered, and fried chicken pieces mixed in a sweet orange-flavored chili sauce, which thickens or caramelizes to a glaze.

Restaurants throughout the western hemisphere, can also refer to the dish as,  “orange peel chicken”, “orange flavor chicken“, and “tangerine chicken”. In China, however, the dish is always known as “old peel chicken”, referring to dried orange or tangerine peels, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine as well as cooking. For restaurants outside of Asia, fresh orange peel is often used or no peel at all.

We have referred to our version as a Orange Mandarin Chicken, because we add mandarin oranges to the recipe. Here is what you will need.

ORANGE SAUCE

½ cup fresh orange juice

½ cup orange marmalade

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

4 teaspoons arrowroot starch

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

To make the orange sauce, combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl.  Place a medium sauce pot over medium heat and add sauce.

Bring to a medium boil and add arrowroot starch and mix in, stir until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat, and set side.


Prepare Chicken and Vegetables

mixing in onion and red bell pepper - Orange Mandarin Chicken1 pound chicken tenders, cut each strip into ¼ to ½ inch chunks

1/8 cup arrowroot starch

3 tablespoons avocado oil

2 medium red bell peppers, diced ¼ to ½ inch

½ yellow onion, diced ½ inch

1 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained, cut each segment in half

1 pound rice noodles, cook according to package instructions

In a large bowl, coat arrowroot starch with chicken chunks. Heat oil in a large frying pan, and add chicken and fry for about 4 minutes or until chicken is oblique.

Add red pepper and onion, cut another 3 minutes, stirring continually.

mixing in orange suace - Orange Mandarin ChickenAdd orange sauce, and stir in till will combined.

mixing in mandarin oranges - Orange Mandarin ChickenNext add mandarin oranges, and stir in. Let simmer on low, about 3 minutes.

Orange Mandarin Chicken -close upAdd 1 cup cooked rice noodles to a plate, spoon on some Orange Mandarin Chicken, top with cilantro, and serve.

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Peaches are a Delight

Peaches are a Delight

Peaches and Herb - Peaches are a DelightThere are a few things that come to mind when we refer to peaches being a delight.

Such as ‘Peaches & Herb‘ who were an American vocalist duo, once comprising Herb Fame and Francine “Peaches” Hurd Barker. Peaches & Herb were a delight to listen too.

Peaches  Geldof - Peaches are a DelightThere is the beautiful and delightful ‘Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof-Cohen’ who was an English journalist, television presenter and model.

Peaches Scrubs - Peaches are a DelightHow about those cute and delightful ‘Peaches Scrubs‘ a brand name scrubs for nurses and medical assistants.

Then there’s those peaches that were voluntarily recalled nationwide (USA) by Wawona Packing Co. at its Cutler, California, warehouses between June 1 and July 12 of this year (2014), because they were believed to have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Local peaches at the Whole foods Market - Peaches are a DelightSeveral other soft skinned fruits as well were recalled, like nectarines, plums and pluots.

What a big setback for us all who love peaches, and especially National Peach Month (August 2014).

Because of that recall, there really have not been any good sales on peaches this year.

The cultivation of peaches began in China as early as 2000 B.C., and by 300 B.C. the Greeks and Persians were also cultivars.

In the first century A.D., Romans began cultivating peaches, and from Italy, the cultivation of peaches spread throughout Europe and to the Americas, where the early settlers planted them all along the eastern coast (Agricultural Marketing Resource Center).

There are two basic types of peaches, the ‘clingstone’ and ‘freestone’. The flesh of the ‘clingstone’ clings to the stone or pit of the fruit. The peach flesh of the ‘freestone’ separates easily from the pit or stone.

In the United States as of 2012, 26 states are cultivating peaches. In that year 965,420 tons of peaches were harvested. Of that harvest, 490,320 tons were sold as fresh produce, and 475,100 tons were processed, either canned (364,640 tons), flash frozen (90,210 tons) or dried (9,800 tons).

If you are able to budget some fresh peaches on your weekly shopping, here are some great recipes to use them in.

Basil Marinated Peaches

4 firm-ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and quartered

1 oz. opal basil leaves (about 2 cups loosely packed)

1 tsp. grated lime zest

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Place the peaches and basil in a medium bowl, and set it aside.

Combine the lime zest, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

Then pour the hot syrup over the peaches and basil. Cover, and chill for 2 hours.

You can serve them with Vanilla Pound Cake, Crepes or with a dollop whipped cream.

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Warm Berries and Peaches with Mascarpone

Warm Berries and Peaches with Mascarpone

Image credit: finecooking.com

2 Tbs. granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground ginger

4 cups ripe mixed berries (such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries)

3 medium ripe nectarines, thinly sliced

1/4 cup mascarpone (or cream cheese)

In a large (12-inch) skillet, combine the sugar and ginger with 1/3 cup water and put the pan over medium-high heat.

When the water comes to a boil, add the berries and nectarines and cook, stirring frequently, until the nectarines have just started to soften and the juice released from the berries has thickened slightly, 4 to 5 minutes.

Let cool for a minute and then transfer to individual serving bowls and garnish with a dollop of mascarpone.

Peach Mango SalsaPeach Pecan Cake

There is also Peach and Mango Salsa and Peach and Pecan Cake.

Peaches also have vitamins-A and C, including the trace minerals iron and magnesium, making it a fruit that enriches your blood with oxygen and helps your muscles relax.

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Tea Contest Winner

drinking tea for good health

On February 10, 2014 Splendid Recipes announced a FREE Gift Give Away (Free Give Away From Splendid Recipes).

We made the posted article with the 3 questions to answer, which were excepted until 11:59 pm M.S.T on Feruary. 18, 2014 and the participates and their answers to be revealed on February 19, 2014 ( 4 Types or Tea: How is Each Made). The FREE Gift is a 6 OZ. TEAVANA TEA TIN with tea (click here to view gift).

These were the 3 questions:

Who introduced tea to the British?

How many cups of tea on average does a Brit drink per day?

In 1773 who drank more tea, the British or the American Colonists?

The question I thought that would be the most difficult to answer was: Who introduced tea to the British? The answer was, the Portuguese Princess Catherine.

The only one to get close to that answer was Jackie Saulmon Ramirez (her web-site: Soup to Nuts). She wrote, “It originated in China then it was introduced to Portuguese priests, and I’m assuming to Britains“.

The other two answers were marked incorrect. Though she did answer what I thought to be the most difficult, she won the FREE Gift Give Away.

How many cups of tea on average does a Brit drink per day? the correct answer is 3 cups per day.

In 1773 who drank more tea, the British or the American Colonists? The correct answer is the American Colonists. Before 1773 even though the British were drinking tea since 1662, they were drinking more coffee at the time.

Thanks to all who visit and read our articles here at Splendid Recipes and More and for participating in the FREE Gift Give Away.

tea questions

Info-graphic produced by the Underground Health Reporter

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