It seems to be the perfect time of year when everything in the garden is blossoming and plumping up! One of the biggest fans of this hot and steamy weather are peppers and there’s only so many stir fry dishes one can make. So, to shake things up I decided to create mini stuffed peppers for a side dish! The only thing was, they were so delicious we couldn’t stop and take a picture of them before eating them! So, below is the recipe! Feel free to make them yourself and post your own pictures!
You will need: a selection of peppers, 1 cup white rice, 1 can black beans, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, and various spices.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Select one pepper for each person dining. Smaller peppers can be used for side dishes, while larger ones will work for main dishes.
- Cut the top off of each pepper and remove the core and seeds from inside.
- Place the peppers in a glass baking dish so that each pepper stands upright with the top opening facing up.
- Cook about 1 cup of white rice for each dozen peppers. I used leftover rice which worked fine as well.
- With the cooked or leftover rice place a spoonful on the bottom of each pepper. Next, place a spoonful of black beans on top of the layer of rice. Repeat until all of the peppers are full. It is also optional to place a layer of cooked ground beef with taco seasoning in the middle. This might be a good option if the peppers are your main dish.
- Sprinkle the top of each pepper with various seasonings. I used onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes remove the foil and sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top of the peppers and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.
While the official color of Goldilocks Goodies would be the beautifully vintage-inspired butter gold from my designers at Round Peg Communications, the unofficial color of Goldilocks Goodies is green.
I introduced you to my hybrid delivery car, Penny (in her own debut here) to you last year, but Goldilocks Goodies is more than that. Here are some examples of my commitment to being green:
- Composting all kitchen scraps
- Wrapping cookies in compostable/recyclable cellulose bags
- Labels printed on FSC paper with soy ink
- 100% waterless, carbon-neutral printer
- Rice paper bags for my cookies and pasta
- Using local business services (insurance, accounting, design, etc.) which minimizes my travel to see them and keeps dollars re-invested in the local economy
- Buying fruit & produce from local, Amish-owned farms and orchards
- Using all natural, whole food ingredients (minimal processing)
- Donating proceeds at annual fundraiser to Lancaster Farmland Trust a non-profit committed to preserving farmland
- Best-selling cookies are dairy-free and egg-free (no animal products)
- Selling to other locally-owned shops that support their community and have long-established environmentally-friendly practices (selling in bulk, refilling containers, cloth bags, etc)
- Being a member of Think Local First and LCCI Think Local
- Packaging and containers from kitchen delivered to a recycling center
- Buying wholesale from local Amish-owned stores to support them and avoid extra truck deliveries
I feel lucky to be able to bring all natural, delicious treats to my neighbors in both cities and states with a minimal carbon footprint and continue to look for ways to make it more sustainable. If you have ideas, please share!
The third part of my design story is about Mosaic, the printing company for my labels. (If you want to catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 I encourage you to do so. I’ll be here when you get back.) Ready?
My design team at RoundPeg Communications highly recommended Mosaic as the premier printer in the area, as well as having a long list of their environmental stewardship including facts such as:
they are 100% carbon neutral through wind power and reforestation
they have used waterless printing for 15 years
they are FSC® Certified
they use soy ink
they recycle 1,200 pounds of paper, plastic and aluminum each year
they are an EPA Climate Leaders Program Partner
. . . and the list goes on. Plus, the fact that they are located in Cheverly, MD means they are also a local company. Bonus environmental points.
They were not the least expensive printing option, but their commitment to quality and the environment, as well as their employees and heritage, really resonates with the mission at Goldilocks Goodies and is another integral piece of my promise to deliver treats you can feel good about eating and sharing. Opening up a bag of delicious cookies that are made with care and real, whole foods, while admiring a design and label that was made with the same care by people that care about the social and environmental impact of their work .. . My hope is that you take time to reflect on the labor and ingredients of the food you’re consuming. A call for greater transparency in our food supply chain is one I welcome and urge you to look into for all the foods that you eat. It makes a difference to small, family-owned farmers and businesses, and I personally believe it makes a difference in your overall health.
image courtesy of RW Photography
Or you can just dive into a big bag of cookies and enjoy them for their delicious taste. That’s fine, too.
With the start of this business, I also had to face the reality of a car purchase to shuttle between DC and Lancaster, PA. It was one not made easily, as I took pride in the fact that enough public transportation modes were available when I needed it (and many kind friends and family members to pick me up from the station!). The fact that there are great hybrid cars available now though made this a little easier. And the fact that it was love at first sight. My Prius, Penny is just the right size for me and my crates, boxes and tables and is so much roomier than she looks on the outside. She also had great qualities that I came to realize in the coming weeks.
Most of you know that Lancaster County has a very large Amish community that utilizes the ultimate oil-free/non-fuel dependent vehicle there is: a horse-drawn carriage. My part of the county is particularly made up of farmland and I don’t go a day out of my driveway without passing an Amish buggy. With country road driving also comes narrow roads and bends on roads without painted lines (or sidewalks or utility poles). It was on one such bend that I was driving behind an Amish buggy and my consumption of gas went to 99.99 gallons per mile. I looked at the speedometer to see I was going about 9 miles per hour. As my engine switched off, I was able to hear the clip-clop of the horse’s shoes on the pavement in front of me, and thought, “How perfect. Penny is right at home here in the countryside, practically designed to trot alongside my horse-drawn neighbors.” It’s a nice thought that helps push away the impatience of being “stuck” on the road.
The following week on my return to DC I turned onto the Baltimore-Washington Parkway only to come to an immediate halt. A bad accident farther up had brought the highway to a crawl. It took me almost 3 hours to get from Baltimore to DC, but again I had a comforting thought to outweigh the long drive – Penny delightfully crawled and coasted her way down the road and managed to use only about 1 gallon of gas for the entire trip!
So, it’s not a zero-carbon-footprint situation, but don’t you agree this is a match made in heaven? She’s perfectly suited to her city life and small parking spaces and stop-n-go traffic as much as she is on an open country road. Happiness on wheels!