Archive for November, 2010

Can a Keurig be Green?

November 30th, 2010

I admit it.   I get sucked into watching QVC now and then and once in a while, I get thisclose to buying something from the shopping channel.  In the years I’ve been flipping channels and stopped to see what was being showcased, the two things I’ve purchased have been a Junior’s Cheesecake and this ingenious invention: The Drop Stop seat filler for the car.   Click on the link to see what I mean.

Anyway, this past weekend, QVC ran a Today’s Special Value for the Keurig single-cup coffee maker.    These coffee makers seem to be all the rage because all you do is pop in a plastic pod, close the lid, push a button and voila!  Your own perfect cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or cider.   Fresh, instant and no waste.   Well, almost zero waste: those plastic pods pop out and go—you guessed it—right into the trash.    Millions of these pods go into the trash to go sit—forever–inside a landfill.    It’s such a conundrum, the New York Times even did a feature piece about.

So, I sat there and watched and kept looking at the Keurig expert open the machine, pop in a plastic pod, brew a cup of coffee, pop open the machine and discreetly toss the plastic pod under the table.    Away, I thought.   Away into the trash.  Away into the landfill.   Away to never be thought of again.    I decided my french press at home, which I would put freshly ground coffee beans inside, brew hot water on the stove, pour the water into the press, wait for it to seep, plunge, and then pour myself a cup of coffee would simply be my 25 minute ritual every morning to get the very best cup of coffee possible.     Hmm…25…minutes…each…morning.   Has to be a better way….

And then the QVC host mentioned this:  you also get the My K-Cup insert with your purchase.  In other words, instead of using one of the plastic pods of coffee you buy at the store, you can grind your own beans, fill up this reusable insert, and brew your own cup using the fast, time-saving machine.   So, hold on… you might have me here, folks.

My initial thought was that the My K-Cup Insert has to be disappointing.  Didn’t I hear that these refillable pods leaked or left grinds in your coffee or just were plain difficult to use?   

But the reviews I’m finding online seem to praise the My K-Cups.    Just grind, fill and go.  In fact, I could buy a few of the My K-Cups and pre-fill them when I have guests or family visiting.   They rinse our clean and you can use them over and over again.    The best part?  I’m not wasting coffee each morning when I make a giant vat of pressed coffee.  

So, my faithful Daily Danny readers:  Should I get the Keurig coffee machine with the My K-Cup refill inserts and promise to never, ever for as long as I live to ever buy a package of the plastic pre-filled disposable pods?

Yes, this is the type of conundrum I’m having today.    And in my drama-filled world, I’ll take it.

Green Decorating Tips

November 29th, 2010

I’ve gotten a lot of emails from people who saw our Access Hollywood segment last week that I thought I would dedicate a Daily Danny post to answering some of the questions.    Yes, I realize the segment we did was on “How to Have a Green Thanksgiving,” and I am fully aware of the fact that Thanksgiving has already passed, but with so many of the ideas useful for general entertaining, I thought it was worth sharing the upcycling ideas from this segment!

I think my all-time favorite kids project are these mini fruit and vegetable turkeys.     It’s really all about raiding the produce aisle at the supermarket, grabbing some long bamboo skewers, some crayons and going wild.    I used a cordless drill to insert the crayons into the potatoes, but you could also just make an opening with the blunt end of a bamboo skewer and shove them in.    The turkey feathers are just grapes on a skewer and then jabbed into a honeydew melon.    All edible on the fruit turkey!

By the way, many thanks needs to go to my co-hort in Los Angeles, the ever talented Jules Moore.    She helps me a lot on many, many shoots out West—-from Instyle to O: Magazine to this Access Hollywood shoot.   She and I were on the soundstage at 6AM getting ready for the show and she crafted the fruit turkey all herself.   Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

One of my favorite upcycling ideas is to use old paint chips, a hole punch and a 1″ hole punch cutter from Michael’s craft stores.  Just punch out the disc, punch a smaller hole at the top and tie it to the neck of a wine glass.  Use a Sharpie to write the name of the person drinking from that cup right onto the chip!   I always write “MINE!”

I like buying real Chinese tea from Pearl River Mart in New York City to drink and then save the tins to reuse them as vases.  Looks pretty colorful and festive, doesn’t it?   Sometimes the tins aren’t water tight, so it’s important to drip a candle inside to make them waterproof.

And I did these paint stirrer lanterns on The Today Show, but I thought it was clever enough to repeat on Access.   Just wrap paint stirrers around and around a round vase and tighten two pipe clamps use a flathead screwdriver around them until very, very snug.   That’s it!  

We’re going to be doing more Christmas TV segments in December, so stay tuned.     And as always, keep upcycling!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25th, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Hopefully you are spending the day with loved ones or someplace where you can celebrate.

I’m taking off today to spend time with the Seo Clan outside of Washington, DC.   I’m going to stop by my brother-in-laws restaurant in Maryland called Ben’s Eatery on Friday.    If you’re in New Carrollton, stop by and say hello!  

I’ll be back with more holiday posts on Monday November 29th.    See you then and save travels!

Making a Solid Perfume

November 24th, 2010

I was looking at this Altoid Minis tin the other day (something I got in a gift bag) and realized it’s been a whole year since I actually ate one of these.   So I tossed out the candies and saved the tin with an idea about making a DIY solid perfume.

Over a double boiler (don’t you love this vintage one I found at Goodwill?) simmer some water on the bottom and place a tiny amount of beeswax on top to melt.  If you can’t find beeswax at the craft store, look for beeswax candles and just chip off about a tablespoon’s worth of wax.

Melt the wax…..  melting away….

Once the wax is fully melted, turn off the heat and spray your favorite perfume into the mixture.  I used about 20 sprays of my Wholearth Beauty #4 scent, but spray as little or as much as you want.      Stir well and pour into the clean Altoids tin container.

Allow to cool and you’re done!   Apply to pulse points with your fingers.

How to Have a Green Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2010

Enjoy these eco friendly entertaining tips from this morning’s Access Hollywood Live!