Tuesday, July 18, 2017

EASY TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE BREAD

Correction, easy to make gluten AND rice free bread. Discovering we not only had a gluten allergy in the house, but also a rice allergy (yes rice), proved to be quite a challenge. Since most gluten free alternatives use rice flower as a substitute, our options were limited. Then add in our effort to go plastic free and our options completely disappear. But with some determination, short search on Pinterest, and an afternoon in the kitchen, we discovered this incredibly tasty easy to make gluten free recipe!

Here are the ingredients you will need:
  • Milk (we used Almond)
  • Honey (or any other natural sweetener)
  • All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • Dry Active Yeast
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Eggs
Click here for a for a step by step how-to! Next we will share Mike's homemade peanut butter and grape jelly recipe, featuring fresh grapes from our grape vine! Happy baking!
Off The Grid in the City - Easy to Make Homemade Gluten Free Bread

Off The Grid in the City - Homemade Gluten Free Bread
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DIY DRAINO

DIY Draino - Chemical Free - 3 Ingredients - offthegridinthecity
Three ingredients to unclog your drain!
  • 8 cups of boiling water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda (we recommend always using Arm and Hammer)
  • 1 cup white vinegar 
Also, I recommend chopsticks or something of the sort, to poke the drain with. That's all you need! Now for the steps...

DIY Draino - Chemical Free - 3 Ingredients - offthegridinthecity

First things first, boil 8 cups of water. I used a measuring cup and poured the water into my tea kettle. I recommend using a kettle because it will be much easier to pour the water.

Once the water boils, pour 7 cups of the boiling water down the clogged drain. I poured the water from the kettle, into the measuring cup, down the drain.

Next, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain. This is where the chop sticks come in handy. The baking soda needed a little extra push down. Don't worry if it doesn't all go down, the next step will take care of that!

Now, pour 1 cup of white vinegar down the drain. (Cue fun sizzle effect.)

Then pour the remaining 1 cup of hot water.

All done! An easy chemical free way to clean your clogged drain! Not to mention it makes the sink sparkle.

- Dana

Saturday, February 18, 2017

COMPOSTING MADE EASY!

Starting Composting is Easy!  All you need are scraps, a pail, a bin and you're on your way to making your own dirt.  To me, it seems magical, I compost scraps and eventually it turns into black dirt.  Compost reduces trash, is great for your gardens and allows you to do your part and make a difference.

Let's get started.
composting - off the grid in the city
Any small pail with a cover would work IF you religiously empty your scraps in the outdoor compost bit every day.  This is too much for my busy schedule so I got on the web and searched "Composting Pails" and found a wide variety of looks and prices. I bought this stainless steal 3 cu. ft pail which Julie says looks nice in the kitchen.  (Very important.)  The pail also included a charcoal filter on the lid so odors can be minimized/reduced to zero.  I usually empty the scraps every 2-3 days which is fine especially during the winter months.  In the summer, as the temperatures rise, both odors develop and fruit flies can hatch and fly out of the pail.  (This didn't bother me much as I told Julie that in high school, I bred fruit flies to see what happens when crossing different strains of fruit flies. Julie did not find it interesting, I think she gagged.)  So try to empty the pail daily or every other day!  (I'm still trying to remember my daily composting chores!)

Next up! Any large, sturdy bin or container with a lid would work.  Our city, Los Angeles, was giving out composting bins (for free) at Griffith Park. I immediately went down and picked one up.  Many cities across the country might have similar programs, so do a little research!  They had a short informative seminar on how to compost which was very helpful since I had never composted before.  The compost bin has a locking top and no bottom, which threw me at first, but of course this process is outside on a dirt area of your yard.

That's it. Your step towards making dirt for your garden or potted plants has begun! It's that easy.
composting - off the grid in the city
Now for the process. What goes into your composter?

This is easy too.  There are really only 2 types of "ingredients" for the compost bin.
GREEN - compost that contains carbon.
BROWN - compost that contains nitrogen.
These should be approximately equal parts of each. Here are some examples:
composting, composting tips, composting 101, off the grid in the city,
Turn the pile and moisten with water about once per week. You will have compost in as little as 4-6 weeks to a year!  (All depends on temperature, container size, and conditions.)


Other Tips!
-  Location with equal sun and shade
- Chop your ingredients to speed up decomposition
- Use a variety of greens and browns.

Dirt Additive:
Fungi and microorganisms are needed to break down the organic material in the bin.  Since our soil is more like sandy/clay, I figured our soil did not have the right beasties to start the decomposition process.  So to avoid complete failure on my first attempt, I added composting soil to my first batch, which can be found at most home and garden stores.

Dirt Additive: Ringer Compost Plus #2 - $6.99
Dr. Earth Compost Started #3 - $16.99
Jobes Organic Compost Starter #4 - $14.62

Total Coast:
Stainless Steel Pail - $20.00
Bin - FREE
Additive Soil - $17.00
_______________________
TOTAL: $37.00

Of course, once you get the hang of it, you can make your own compost bins and begin more advanced methods to speed up the process and even dirt recipes. YUM!

Coming up next: Let's Add Worms!

- Mike

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's March Los Angeles

     Women's March Los Angeles
     750,000+ Marchers
     DTLA
     Saturday, January 21st, 2017


I've always been taught to standup for what I believe in and today I did just that. Today my family and I marched alongside 750,000+ women and men in DTLA. Not to mention the other women and men marching in solidarity around the world. From my dear friend all the way in Sweden to the protesters all the way in Antartica. Today, we chose to be apart of history. And it's something I will never forget. 

Tomorrow the real work begins. We have one hefty journey ahead of us, but if today's unity was any consolation, we are up for the fight. 

- Dana
Women's March, Women's March LA, Women's March on Washington, Equal Rights, Feminism, Feminist, The Future is Female, Revolution, DTLA, Pershing Square, offthegridinthecity, Protest, Peaceful Protest, Equality, Power to the People, Off The Grid in the City
Women's March, Women's March LA, Women's March on Washington, Equal Rights, Feminism, Feminist, The Future is Female, Revolution, DTLA, Pershing Square, offthegridinthecity, Protest, Peaceful Protest, Equality, Power to the People, Off The Grid in the City
Women's March, Women's March LA, Women's March on Washington, Equal Rights, Feminism, Feminist, The Future is Female, Revolution, DTLA, Pershing Square, offthegridinthecity, Protest, Peaceful Protest, Equality, Power to the People, Off The Grid in the City
Women's March, Women's March LA, Women's March on Washington, Equal Rights, Feminism, Feminist, The Future is Female, Revolution, DTLA, Pershing Square, offthegridinthecity, Protest, Peaceful Protest, Equality, Power to the People, Off The Grid in the City
Women's March, Women's March LA, Women's March on Washington, Equal Rights, Feminism, Feminist, The Future is Female, Revolution, DTLA, Pershing Square, offthegridinthecity, Protest, Peaceful Protest, Equality, Power to the People, Off The Grid in the City
Women's March, Women's March LA, Women's March on Washington, Equal Rights, Feminism, Feminist, The Future is Female, Revolution, DTLA, Pershing Square, offthegridinthecity, Protest, Peaceful Protest, Equality, Power to the People, Off The Grid in the City
Women's March, Women's March LA, Women's March on Washington, Equal Rights, Feminism, Feminist, The Future is Female, Revolution, DTLA, Pershing Square, offthegridinthecity, Protest, Peaceful Protest, Equality, Power to the People, Off The Grid in the City
View more photos from the march HERE.
All photos belong to Off the Grid in the City via Dana Melanie. 
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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

STRAWS, IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS

Ever notice that every time you order a drink in a restaurant, even if it’s just water, it's accompanied by a plastic straw? You, like me, probably never gave it a second thought. But when my daughter declared plastic straws were off limits, it came with a lengthy explanation, which frankly, made my hair stand on end. Each day, yes DAY, humans utilize 500,000,000 plastic single use straws!

Going straw free took me about a week to get used to. I discovered I’m a dribbler. I was so used to straws that drinking from a glass made me miss my mouth a few times! But then I realized iced tea tastes so much better directly from a glass. Once the dribbling stopped, I was sold! My eyes were now open to how such a slight change in our daily lives, can have a huge impact.


If that’s not enough for you, take a look at this horrible picture of what is commonly found in a sea bird's stomach.

When our family began our ban, my daughter was so passionate that when a waiter would bring a straw she practically yelled NO STRAWS so aggressively that they made a run for it. She reacted as if they were taking a gun from a holster every time they reached in their pocket for a trusty straw. 

Then she tried a new approach. “No straws please, they harm the ocean”. This got people interested, it not only garnered admiration from the proposed straw giver, but questions like 'really, what do they do to the ocean?' arose and a dialogue began. In our local cafĂ© a waitress told us she has a few other customers who refuse straws for the same reason.  She said this prompted her to ban her own use of plastic straws and now she asks the customers if they’d like a straw before automatically placing them on the table. This may not seem like much, but neither does a drop of water until it makes an ocean. 

There are paper recyclable straws, straws made of other biodegradable material and I recently picked up a pack of metal straws for when I’m driving.  Now in addition to the environmental repercussions the thought of putting something made of oil that fuels cars in my mouth really grosses me out.

We hope you will join us and ban the use of plastic straws in your life, spread the word and educate your friends, family, local restaurants, schools, etc. We've created a basic print out (on the side bar) for restaurants, encouraging them to go straw free. Click, print & share! For every one of us who refuses to use a straw, we do our part to save a fish, a bird, a turtle, and our own bodies from toxic plastic. We CAN save the oceans of the world, one straw at a time. 

~ Julie

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