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Archives for January 2014

Sweet Prairie Home Signature Fudge, A New Oklahoma Business

There’s a new sweet shop in town, Sweet Prairie Home Signature Fudge.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new shop has opened to bring you sweet delectable treats for you and your loved ones. If you love chocolate, and let’s face it who doesn’t, then you’ll want to fudge1stop by Sweet Prairie Home Signature Fudge.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new shop has opened to bring you sweet delectable treats for you and your loved ones. If you love chocolate, and let’s face it who doesn’t, then you’ll want to stop by Sweet Prairie Home Signature Fudge.

 Sweet Prairie Home features a wide assortment of handmade, delicious fudge. You can find flavors like Maple Bacon, Rocky Road, Classic Chocolate, and more. Sweet Prairie Home uses only the freshest nuts and add-ins possible. They use fresh butter in all of their recipes, except their cheesecake fudge. There you’ll find real cream cheese instead of butter. Can’t you just taste it now? They source as much as they can locally.
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For Valentine’s Day, try their strawberry fudge. They are using fresh strawberries to give the fudge a sweet sumptuous flavor you’re going to enjoy. Plus for Valentine’s Day, you can get specially packaged heart shaped fudge.It makes a great gift. Be sure to pick up one for your loved one and one for yourself.


fudge2Mother and daughter team, Imalee Crow and Annette Gunter, began Sweet Prairie Home in the fall of 2013. They starting selling fudge at local craft fairs, holiday shows, and markets. Their fudge was extremely popular. On their Facebook page, fans are giving them rave reviews.

“I love this fudge! Quality ingredients and inventive flavors. I gave some away at Christmas and everyone loved it! It’s the best fudge I have ever tasted!”

“I got the Chocolate Toffee and Pumpkin Pie – love them both, but the pumpkin pie is heavenly!!!”

Their success prompted them to open a store in Bethany. Their grand opening is this week. Their new shop is just south of NW 39th Expressway near the SNU campus. They are a proud member of the Made in Oklahoma Coalition.

Stop by Sweet Prairie Home  today for their Grand Opening Celebration and see what delicious fudge flavors they’re featuring this week.

Location:
3933 N College Ave, Bethany
Hours:
Tuesday thru Thursday 11:00am to 5:00pm
Friday  11:00am to 7:00pm
Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays

Petition for Curbside Recycling in Guthrie

recyclingA Guthrie citizen, Destini Payne is asking the city of Guthrie to implement curbside recycling. Payne started a petition, which currently has 35 signatures, to help show the city of Guthrie that their residents want curbside recycling.

The petition talks about how citizens of Guthrie aren’t happy with their current recycling options. Currently Guthrie offers recycling at a drop-off center. They accept paper, cardboard, aluminum, steel, and motor oil.

“The city can and should do more about the situation and make recycling more conveinient and free for their residents.”


The EPA estimates 75 percent of solid waste is recyclable. Oklahoma’s recycling rates are some of the lowest in the U.S. with only around 14 percent of Oklahomans recycling. Curbside recycling can help improve recycling rates by making recycling easier for residents.

Many in Guthrie also want to see more options for what they can recycle. Plastic is one type of recycling citizens would like to see available. Glass is another item that people like to be able to recycle. Glass has some issues with curbside recycling but is doable in some cases. Citizens are also asking that those outside the city limits are included in the curbside recycling.

If you would like to see curbside recycling in Guthrie be sure to sign the petition and also contact your council member and let them know.

Do you recycle? If not, what would help encourage you to start? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.  

Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by Dano

Super Bowl Smoky Franks

While I do most of my shopping at local grocers or through the Oklahoma Food Coop, a few days ago I paid a visit to the Whole Foods in Oklahoma City. It’s definitely one of my favorite grocery destinations but it’s at least a half hour away.

franks

My favorite thing to stock up on is Tessemae’s. This company is simply amazing. It’s a family business that makes delicious dressings, sauces and marinades from whole, all-natural ingredients. No sugar, dairy, gluten or anything you can’t pronounce. They’re Paleo and Vegan friendly! After grabbing a few bottles of Tessemae’s, I meandered back to the meat department to pick up a few items. I saw a package of Applegate’s cocktail franks and a lightbulb went off. I have seen the little smokies in BBQ sauce at countless parties but never thought about making a cleaner version. Until now that is, just in time for Super Bowl Sunday!

superbowlsnacks

Ingredients

  • 2 packages  Applegate Farms “The Greatest Little Organic Uncured Smoky Cocktail Pork Frank”
  • 1 bottles Tessemae’s Matty’s BBQ sauce

Directions

  1. Follow pkg instructions for the smoky franks.
  2. Add bottle of Tessemae’s and heat through or throw them both in a crockpot if you want to keep them warm throughout your party.

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I was going to plate mine up all fancy- like with toothpicks, but I’m out so here are my ‘clean’ paleo-friendly BBQ cocktail weiners on a plate.


Protect Our Lakes, Conserve Resources

conserveOklahoma has been experience a drought for the last several years. Currently over 60 percent of the state is abnormally dry or worse. The drought conditions have left Oklahoma’s lakes in bad shape. Citizens are very concerned about water levels in Lake Texoma and many other lakes around the state.

A group of over 20,000 people have “liked” the Facebook page, Save Lake Texoma. While this group started because of a rumor that is untrue, it’s great to see people concerned about what’s going on in the state due to prolonged drought.

There are ways we can help save our lakes. Lakes like Lake Texoma provide water to towns and industries. Lake Texoma and some of the other lakes in Oklahoma also provide electricity. By conserving water and electricity we can reduce the amount of water needed from the lakes, helping conserve the remaining water.


The long term forecast doesn’t look good for Oklahoma’s drought situation. Conservation is going to become more and more necessary as time goes on. Many towns are already struggling to find enough water. Oklahoma City is working to combat this by encouraging conservation through even/odd watering days and offering discounted rain barrels to citizens.

How You Can Help

We don’t have to wait for our cities to encourage us to conserve, we can start now. There are many great ways to conserve water and energy. Here are five easy tips to get you started conserving today.

  1. Turn off the water while brushing and saving. This can save you around four gallons of water every time you brush!
  2. Stop vampire energy. Many electronics continue to use energy even when not in use, this is called vampire energy. Prevent this by unplugging items when not in use. You can also use a power strip and just flip the switch when done.
  3. Switch to CFL or LED light bulbs. While these bulbs cost more initially, they save you money on your electric bill and also last much longer than traditional bulbs. Don’t forget to recycle your CFLs because they contain a small amount of mercury. If you want to avoid the mercury, choose LED bulbs.
  4. Check for leaks in your toilet. Place a few drops of food coloring in the tank, leave it for a few hours, and if you see any in the bowl without flushing then you have a leak. Fixing toilet leaks can save around 200 gallons of water a day. And don’t forget to fix those leaky faucets ASAP.
  5. Only run full loads in the dishwasher and washing machines. It can be tempting to just go ahead and run the dishwasher even though it’s not full, or wash your favorite jeans even though you don’t have a full load. However, this wastes a lot of energy and water, so avoid the temptation.

For more tips check out Ways to Conserve Water and 10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill. Also share your tips below and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Photo Credit- Dripping Faucet: Doladimeji, Power Lines: Altair, Lake: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District (USACE)

Oil to Begin Flowing in the Southern Leg of Keystone XL Pipeline

keystone xl pipeline

TransCanada will begin shipping crude oil through the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline today. The southern leg starts in Cushing, Oklahoma and goes to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. According to the Dallas Morning News, the pipeline will be capable of moving 830,000 barrels of crude a day.

The northern leg of the pipeline is still waiting for approval from the State Department. The southern route doesn’t require State Department approval as it doesn’t cross an international boarder. The southern leg did receive approval from the US Army Corps of Engineers.


Many are still concerned about the pipeline and are still fighting it. Lawsuits have been filed in Nebraska and one in Texas, where they have appealed to the state Supreme Court. Texas landowners are starting a new network to over see the pipeline called Texas Pipeline Watch. The group will help ensure that any leaks or other mishaps are reported quickly.

“We’re going to be watching these things,” said Julia Trigg Crawford, a north-Texas landowner who has been fighting a losing battle in state courts. “We’ll be taking measurements and testing water. Usually their fancy-schmancy detection systems are not what discover leaks. It’s ordinary people. This is like a giant neighborhood watch.”- read more

Worries about the pipelines safety multiplied last summer, when the company had to pull up sections of pipeline to make repairs. Citizens identified more than 100 repair sites from the Oklahoma-Texas border and the Texas Gulf.

In September, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration sent TransCanada two letters warning of violations. The violations included not hiring qualified welders and failing to protect the pipeline during construction. The agency said TransCanada addressed these issues but many are still concerned about the pipeline’s safety.

A similar pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy, leaked earlier this week in Canada furthering concerns. While this leak seems to be fairly minor, leaking around 125 barrels of oil, Enbridge doesn’t have the best record when it comes to spills. One of the companies pipelines leaked around one million gallons of crude oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River back in 2010. The spill is the largest inland oil spill in US history. The company is still working to clean up the spill and has already missed a deadline.

TransCanada is expected to have a news conference later today.

Photo credit: shannonpatrick17

Citizens Concerned About Low Water Levels in Lake Texoma

drought

Lake Texoma is down to 609 feet- the lowest it’s been in more than 40 years. The low water levels have caused many of the boat ramps in the lake to be closed. With lake season slowly approaching, many business owners are concerned.

The low water levels started a rumor that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are intentionally draining the lake to supply power to Dallas. The rumor even sparked the creation of a Facebook page called Save Lake Texoma. The page currently has more than 20,000 likes. They say the page was created to “stop the draining of Lake Texoma.”


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District (USACE) released a press release to address the concerns and rumors. They acknowledged that there are negative impacts associated with the low water levels at Lake Texoma. They said that hydropower and municipal and industrial water supply usage contributes to the low water levels, but went on to say the lake remains critical in meeting electricity and water needs.

Many factors are contributing to the low lake levels. The multi-year extreme drought, below average rainfall since 2009, and significant evaporation losses are all to blame.

“Lake Texoma has significant power and water supply storage that is congressionally authorized for use and paid for by the users,” said Col. Richard Pratt, commander, USACE Tulsa District. “In times of drought, this storage is required to consistently provide water and electricity to the region and this results in a lower lake level. The entities that have water contract agreements with the Corps have a right to their water, and we all acknowledge that fact while emphasizing conservation to limit the long-lasting negative effects on fish, wildlife, and recreational activities.”

 

Concerned citizens contacted Ralph Hall, U.S. Representative for Texas’ 4th District, about Lake Texoma’s low water levels, and he contacted USACE. All of the groups involved are working to manage the water storage issue.

“Throughout my years in public service, I have had a good working relationship with the Army Corps of Engineers and hold great respect for them due to their knowledge, adherence to the law, and willingness to work collaboratively in order to best serve the American people,” said Hall. “I appreciate the Corps’ efforts on this issue, and I will continue to stay engaged with them as we work to help the people of Texoma during these difficult times of drought. We owe it to the good folks of Texoma to work together and be supportive of efforts that work towards maximum appreciation and use of this great body of water – one of the great lakes of our nation.”

The lake is currently in Drought Level 2 of the district’s Drought Contingency Plan.

“In Drought Level 2, Public Law 100-71 requires that SWPA limit power production to rapid response, short term peaking purposes as determined by the power scheduling entity. Short term peaking generally means full power production of 4-8 hours per day on average, with more generation allowed during electrical emergencies. The Corps has coordinated with SWPA to reduce generation accordingly, with calendar year 2013 being the lowest generation year at Lake Texoma since hydropower operations began in 1945. Such a reduction in power production requires replacement power from more expensive energy sources to meet the region’s electricity needs. The Corps also notifies municipal and industrial water users to implement water conservation measures designed to lessen the impact of their withdrawals.”

If Drought Level 3 is reached there will be a number of actions emphasizing conservation to limit the impacts of the drought. Drought Level 3 begins at lake elevations of 607-599.9 feet.

Check back later this week for tips on helping Oklahoma through the drought and water crisis by conserving resources. And join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Photo Credit- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District (USACE)

Oklahoma City Residents Encouraged to Use Rain Barrels

Rain BarrelOklahoma City has had a lot of issues with water the last several years. Oklahoma has been in and out of a drought and water consumptions continues to rise. Last year, in an effort to reduce water consumption, the city permanently put odd/even outdoor watering into effect. Now they are encouraging residents to take it a step further and install rain barrels.

Lawn and garden watering makes up around 40% of all household water use during the summer. Using rain barrels to collect rainwater to use during periods of drought can help greatly reduce this number. Rain barrel water is ideal for gardens, lawns, and window washing. Rain barrel water is not safe for consumption unless treated.

The Oklahoma City Council recently passed an ordinance that allows up to two 85-gallon rain barrels in a resident’s front yard. Any number of rain barrels can be placed in side or back yards as long as not visible from the street. The rain barrels must be securely covered with opens covered with a screen to prevent infestations of insects.


Oklahoma City and the Central Oklahoma Storm Water Alliance (COSWA) are offering discounted rain barrels online. Prices start at $59 plus $2.50 online handling fee. The deadline to order is March 28, 2014. Residents can check out rain barrels at the Oklahoma City Home and Garden Show, January 17-19 at the COSWA both (#1645).

The city’s website offers instructions for residents to make their own rain barrels. Rain barrels can also be found at many home improvement and garden stores.

Let us know if you already have a rain barrel or are planning to get one. We’d love to hear from you! Comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Photo Credit: All rights reserved- Tiffany at Naturemoms.com

Organic Juice Bar Opens in OKC Metro

organicsqueezeThis morning Organic Squeeze, an organic juice bar, opened it’s doors in Nichols Hills in the OKC metro area. People are already raving about the fresh organic juices and smoothies.

Organic Squeeze is passionate about bring organic juices to OKC. They have pledged to only use organic juices and smoothies. Owner Robert Rhodes told KFOR, “When drinking juice, you are giving your body exactly what it needs.”

The owners say their love of juicing goes back to when they were teens and their mom started juicing. The habit stuck and they have now come up with their own recipes. They also make a juice blend called “Joe’s Mean Green Juice,” a juice created by Joe Cross from the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.”


The raves are already coming in on Organic Squeeze’s Facebook Page with customers saying things like, “Best juice, ever, will be back for sure!” And they are getting a lot of praise for their commitment to use only organic produce.

The juice bar is now open at 6434 Avondale Dr. in Nichols Hills Plaza. You can learn more about Organic Squeeze on their website www.organic-squeeze.com, you can also follow them on their Facebook page and Twitter.

If you have tried Organic Squeeze let us know what you thought in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Organic Squeeze

Record Cold Weather and Global Warming

The last couple of days have brought the polar vortex to the United States causing the worst winter weather outbreak in two decades, shattering many records. The weather closed roads, schools, paralyzed air travel and is to blame for at least 16 deaths. Some parts of Minnesota were as cold as 25 degrees below zero.

winter storm

Oklahoma had it’s share of cold weather as well. The lowest actual air temperature recorded was -12 degrees in Nowata. That temperature was not quite low enough to break the record low temperature. It did however, tied for the 7th lowest temperature ever record on January 6th for the state. The record is still a tie between Arnett and Hooker for -16 degrees back in 1912 and 1971. And many likely remember our record setting weather back in February 2011, with actual temperatures as low as -31.

With this record cold weather many have been asking “where is global warming?” Well it’s right here. The term global warming has confused many to believe it only causes warmer temperatures.


Climate change skeptics have been claiming that this cold weather proves there is no climate change. Fox New’s Stuart Varney said on Jan. 2,  “Looks to me like we’re looking at global cooling. Forget this global warming. That’s just my opinion.”

So what exactly is global warming? It’s an increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. This increase is believed by scientists to be caused by an increase of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants in our atmosphere.

Climate scientist however will tell you that climate change doesn’t mean non-stop summer. We still have winter, which is still colder than summer due to the earth having a tilted axis. Another thing we must understand is that climate and weather are different.

“Weather is what’s happening outside the door right now; today a snowstorm or a thunderstorm is approaching,” the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) says. “Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over decades.”

The current cold weather is caused by the polar vortex. Normally the polar vortex is confined to the Arctic but climate change may explain some of the reasons it is coming south.

“As the Arctic region warms faster than most other places, however, the Arctic sea ice melts more rapidly and for longer periods each year, and is unable to replenish itself in the briefer, warmer winter season. This can destabilize the polar vortex and raises the barometric pressure within it.

For two winter seasons (2009/2010 and 2010/2011), the polar vortex was notably unstable. In addition, another measurement of barometric pressure—the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)—was in negative mode, weakening part of the barometric pressure “fence” around the polar vortex. This instability allows the cold Artic air to break free and flow southward, where it collides with warmer, moisture-laden air. This collision can produce severe winter weather in some regions and leave milder conditions in other parts of the northern hemisphere.”- UCS

The changes we are seeing in the climate will continue to bring many different kinds of extreme weather, from heat waves to massive snow storms.

Photo Credit-  Some rights reserved by NASA Goddard Photo and Video