ftsummer

New organic cotton bags

lilsoak totes-2

 

12.99

Summer’s here and it’s been hard to keep my regular work schedule now that school’s out. The 4 hours that Pax is in preschool really helped me get a lot of my blogging but you’ll see that in the summer, I’ll be posting at odd times of the day but I will keep you up to date on all things green and fair trade here at Lil’Soak.  I managed to post up a couple of new products  The small tote is perfect for an outing.  I use it all the time to bring an extra change of clothes for the kids, diapers, snacks etc.  Or else I bring it with me when we hit the library or a quick errand to the grocery store.  It’s handy to have and very sturdy. Made from organic cotton, GOTS certified in India.

lilsoak totes-1

$19.99

This large messenger bag carries a lot of stuff.  There is a zipper pocket in the back and inside there is a small zipper pocket. It’s a great catch all carrying bag.  You can tuck your tablets/ipad into the back zippered pocket no problem. Sizing and dimensions are all available on the products link.  They are available now for sale through on ebay and soon we will send it off to amazon as well. We’ll keep you posted.

Right now I’m trying to pack and ship some cute soft dolls for both girls and boys for Amazon as well.  Pax likes to call them Mama and Papa because they kinda do look like us oddly enough but they are really lovely handmade dolls that were made by deaf/near deaf women in China.  Social benefits are not abundant in China so people with disabilities have a hard time finding solid work and this organization is doing a wonderful job of empowering these women.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a busy busy summer.  Time for my coffee break and a slice of the banana bread my kiddo helped me make. By helped I mean mash the bananas to smithereens.

 

“New organic cotton bags”  was first posted at Lil’Soak + Friends

Father’s Day Ideas: BBQ. Enough said.

What celebrates your Pa more than a good old fashion bbq?  It hits on that time when the sun shines longer and you get to eat food outside and relax on your deck.  Even if you don’t have a deck, you can even go to a nearby park/beach bring one of those cheap coal bbq sets and it’s still a great way to celebrate your big guy’s day.

Our suggested meal plan:  burgers, roasted sweet potato fries or roasted veggies, drinks, ice cream,

Hamburger Recipe

Forget buying frozen prepped patties, you can make your own and it’s simple!  We our picky about our meat so we have started ordering all our meat from a butcher in Walla, Walla Washington called Blue Valley Meats. They have 100% grass fed beef and are even starting to introduce meat that are gluten free — meaning that the food/feed that they are feeding their animals have no gluten in them. Their chicken, well it tastes like chicken.  Sounds silly but these days, with our food being so processed, sometimes things just don’t taste how they should taste.  Prices are very reasonable for happy meat.

  • 1 lb of  ground chuck (should be a little fattier)
  • half an onion chopped finely
  • red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste
  • Buns (I like brioche buns but Tim is gluten-free.  Rudi’s makes a good gluten free bun)
  • cheese (We are partial to cabot cheddar cheese. So tasty!)
  • tomatoes (there are fair trade certified ones sold in PCC Health Markets or Whole Foods)
  • Lettuce
  • Condiments to your liking

Put the ground chuck in a bowl. The cut should be fattier because it makes a juicier burger. Add the chopped onion, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  I would be aggressive with my salt (2 tsp) to bring out the taste of the burger.  Mix all the ingredients together by hand but do not over mix.  Form patties the size of your palm. Toss it on the grill.  Cool one side for longer about 5-7 minutes and then the other side for about 2 to 3 minutes.  It shouldn’t take all that long to cook if you have loosely packed your patties.  Add your cheese after you have flipped your burger so it will be all nice and melty.

Toast your buns,  TOAST!  I can’t stand a soggy bun! Add it to the grill just a minute before you need to take the burgers off the grill.

Top it off with tomatoes, lettuce (we liked those boxed organic mixed lettuces) and smear it with your condiments.  I like mayo and dijon on mine.

Ice Tea Recipe

When I lived in Austin, I loved Zhi Tea’s peach ice tea.  It’s fair trade and organic and it’s probably the tastiest peach tea I have had so far. You can get their tea online. I’m obsessed with tea and the amount of tea I have can fill a whole pantry shelf.  Yikes.

fredpeachproductpageresize_1

$15.95 for 3.5 ounce tin

Peach Sweet Ice Tea

  • looseleaf tea
  • sliced peaches
  • sliced lemons
  • sugar syrup (we use a fair trade certified cane sugar that you can buy even get from Costco!)

The ratio of tea to water is usually 1:1 but the size of spoon you use depends on how large the tea leaves are.  For larger leaves, I like using about a 1/2 tbspn.  For smaller leaves I would go 1 tsp.  For this brand I would go for 1 tablespoon.  Boil 8 cups of water and add your tea leaves.  I like to simmer my tea leaves for about 5 to 6 minutes.  Strain the tea into a jug, put it in the fridge to cool.

To make the sugar syrup, for this amount of water, I would add a half a cup of cane sugar  and half a cup of water.  Boil until a pot until the sugar dissolves.  Add it to the tea.

Just before serving, add 1 peach sliced and half a lemon sliced.

If your man likes beer than I hear there is a fair trade beer from Peak Organic Brewing Company.  How is it fair trade?  Apparently, one of their brews uses fair trade coffee mixed with beer.  That is one crazy combination.  I have no idea how that would taste!

Last but not least.  ICE CREAM!

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Ben and Jerry’s is FAIR TRADE certified!  I just bought this on sale at Safeway for $2.50.  I was hankering for chocolate.  I can’t wait to try it.  GMO free, not owned by a huge food conglomerate .  I read that Unilever (which owns most ice cream brands) aquired Ben and Jerry’s in 2000 so it’s not a family owned company.  Unilever is however committed to sourcing responsibly in their pantry food brands and teas in a certain timeframe.  Good news for that!

After this post, I feel like having a bbq myself.  I just need to get myself a bbq.

#FTsummer #Father’sDay

Father’s Day Ideas: Hipster Edition

fathersdayblog

I just moved from the most hipster part of America: Austin, TX and I can so see these on these dads over there.  I love the Krochet Kids company. They started out with crochet hats (very much hipster too) and their artisans from Peru and Northern Uganda sign each hat they crochet.  I love that personal touch.

They even have hair accessories for the ladies but may not look so good on the hipster dad but how about:

 

A super quality waxed canvas made by the good folks at Moop.  Been drooling over their bags for men/women.  They handmake all their bags in their Pittsburgh.  Super sweet! Made locally here in the US.   Your Pop can put his ipad in his bag, sling it over his shoulder,  stroller over to his handy bike to ride to work or study.

Just add a pair of skinny jeans from Gustin and a hipster plaid shirt and done.  Happy hip father’s day!

#FTsummer

Father’s Day Ideas: iced coffee to perk his morning

I’m joining a few other participants to blog about making your summer fair trade #ftsummer.  Since Father’s Day is coming along soon, we’re sharing a fair trade/locally sourced recipe idea for your dear dad.

Javier Cruz – Stumptown’s coffee producer from Colombia

Stumptown Coffee.  Direct trade house blend.  If you haven’t heard of this company then you need to get right down to Portland or someone who serves up stumptown coffee.  You can tell they are obsessed with coffee and that is a good thing because it’s a damn good cup of java.  Really smooth.  Their direct trade blends means that they are face to face with the farmers paying more than a fair price for their hard work harvesting these beans. Our family likes to cold brew it.

Iced Hazelnut Latte

  • 1 12 oz package of stumptown coffee (I would get the roaster to grind the beans if you don’t have a grinder.  Make sure it’s a coarse grind like for a french press)
  • 7 to 8 cups of water
  • hazelnut half and half (we like using organic valley brand)

Dump the entire contents of coffee grind in a large container like a large juice jug or something that will hold the grinds and water.

Pour in 8 cups of water.  Let it sit overnight (at least 8 hours) in the fridge.

Strain out the coffee grinds and pour brewed coffee in a clean jug.

Take out your dad’s favourite mug. Pour in about a cup of cold brewed coffee and add half and half to taste.  I like about 3 tbsps of the creamer.  It’s already sweetened so there is no need to add sugar.

Serve it to your dad and perk him right up.

#ftsummer