DIY Lip Balm

DIY Lip Balm

Making your own lip balm is beyond easy; in fact, you might even know several people who have already given it a whirl. DIY lip balm is great because not only can you make it just the way you like it, you can control the ingredients.

You should be able to find most of the supplies you need for this project in your co-op’s health and body care section, or online in larger quantities. A local craft store is another good place to look, especially for tins and tubes to hold the finished product.

To make the balm, follow this general recipe, and customize to your tastes from there. We’ve included a few of our favorite scent combos below for inspiration.

Lip balm recipe

Makes 4 ½-oz. tubes

  • 1 tablespoon beeswax pearls (or 1 tablespoon grated, unbleached beeswax)
  • 1 tablespoon shea butter
  • 2 tablespoon carrier oil (sunflower, castor, almond or jojoba)
  • 10-15 drops essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional, for those that like it slightly sweet) 

Melt beeswax, shea butter and oil together in a small bowl in the microwave. If you don’t have a microwave, use a double boiler or a heat-safe bowl over simmering water. Stir until ingredients are liquid, then add essential oils and optional honey. Mix well. Transfer to a large eyedropper, syringe, or container with a spout, and divide liquid among four ½ ounce lip balm tins, jars or tubes. 

Customize your creation

To tint or color lip balm, add 1/8 teaspoon of lipstick to the solid ingredients when melting (just take a tiny dab off the end of your favorite tube). You can also use a drop or two of natural red food coloring, or a small amount of beetroot powder or a loose mineral powder (like blush). 

To make lip balm super shiny, adjust the recipe by adding one teaspoon more of carrier oil. Note that this formulation will not be suitable for tubes, since the end result will not be firm enough. 

Scent ideas: In addition to single scent blends that are popular, like peppermint and vanilla, consider these fun combinations:

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Beet Pesto Crostini

Total Time: 35 minutes; 20 minutes active

Servings: 4

Earthy, vibrant beets combine with garlic and crunchy sunflower seeds in this unusual (and vegan) pesto appetizer. Unlike herb pestos, this keeps refrigerated for a few days, tightly covered.


  • 3 2-inch beets, about 6 ounces
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 5 tablespoons sunflower seeds, raw
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 slices baguette, toasted


  1. Wash the beets, but don't peel them. Place them in a small pot and add water to cover by an inch. Put on high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a vigorous simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until a paring knife inserted in a beet slips in easily.
  2. Drain the beets and rinse with cold water, then trim the tops and slip the skins off under the cold water. Let cool.
  3. In a food processor, mince the garlic. Add 1/4 cup of the sunflower seeds and pulse to chop finely. Add the beets and process until finely chopped. Add the olive oil and salt and pulse just to mix, don't puree.
  4. To serve, spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the beet mixture on each baguette slice.


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Every day in December is a day of action

This past Sunday, Natives, water protectors, and Dakota Access Pipeline protesters scored a huge victory. The Obama Administration announced that the US Army Corps would not grant Dakota Access LLC the last remaining easement it needs to drill under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe and complete construction of the pipeline.

While this is encouraging, Mariposa will still be collecting donations at our registers. Read more about what’s next below.

“While this is clearly a victory, the battle is not “over”. A response statement from Energy Transfer Partners  and Sunoco Logistics said the corporations remain “fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.”

The Trump administration could easily approve the project early next year. The Obama Administration has never guaranteed the water protectors or the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that they would use force to stop Dakota Access from drilling under the river without a permit, if necessary. The Army Corps has not yet agreed to pursue a full EIS for the entire length of the pipeline.

Organizers continue to call for every day of December to be “a day of #NoDAPL action” against the investors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Over 100 solidarity actions worldwide have already been registered for the coming weeks as the encampment continues to stand their ground.

Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network says, “Today, the Obama Administration has told us they are not granting the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is not just an amazing victory for Standing Rock and the Oceti Sakowin  -- but also for the many other Tribal Nations, grassroots Indigenous communities and millions of Americans around the country who have stood in solidarity with us here in person, at rallies around the country, and through phone calls and letters. This is a victory for organizing, and it doesn't stop now. We are asking our supporters to keep up the pressure, because while President Obama has granted us a victory today, that victory isn't guaranteed in the next administration. More threats are likely in the year to come, and we cannot stop until this pipeline is completely and utterly defeated, and our water and climate are safe.”

LaDonna Allard, Director of the Sacred Stone Camp, says, “I was asked, “When do you consider this pipeline issue to be over?” I said, when every pipe is out of the ground and the earth is repaired across the United States. I am not negotiating, I am got backing down. I must stand for our grandchildren and for the water.”



News Roundup: December 2, 2016

West Philadelphia News Roundup

December: Every Day is a #NoDAPL Day of Action

On November 20th the police and National Guard violently attacked peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, sound grenades, and sprayed them with water cannons in subfreezing conditions, hundreds of people were injured. Read more

After a three-year search, South Philly Food Co-op reveals location

After a long search, three years to be exact, the South Philly Food Co-op has finally found a new home.

Its grand reveal came Tuesday night at a party with the co-op's board of directors and around 100 others. South Philadelphians will soon be able to find the member-owned and operated grocery store at 2031 S. Juniper St., near Broad Street and Passyunk and Snyder avenues. Read more.

City seeks buyer for 36 MOVE bombing properties on Osage and Pine

The city has invited developers to bid on 36 controversial properties on the 6200 blocks of Osage and Pine hastily rebuilt following the MOVE bombing in 1985.

A fire began after police dropped a small bomb from a helicopter on a home at 6221 Osage Ave. following a long standoff with members of the black liberation group MOVE, who had barricaded themselves inside. Eleven people, including five children, were killed in the fire that followed the bombing. More than 50 neighboring homes were destroyed. Read more

Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball

Holiday Cheese Ball

Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2 large balls (20 servings)

This festive holiday cheese spread is quick and simple to make and great for entertaining.


  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a food processor, blend cream cheese until slightly fluffy. Add cheddar, Asiago, and garlic, and pulse until lightly blended.
  2. Scoop cheese mixture into a small bowl and add the bell pepper, chives, parsley, and salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Refrigerate mixture until cold, then form into balls.
  4. Roll in extra chives, parsley, or diced bell pepper and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

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Donate to Standing Rock at our register

Donate to Standing Rock at our register through Monday, December 19. Mariposa will be matching donations up to a total of $1,000.

Who are we donating to?

We will be sending donations to Sacred Stone Camp.

On April 1st, 2016, tribal citizens of the Standing Rock Lakota Nation and ally Lakota, Nakota, & Dakota citizens, under the group name “Chante tin’sa kinanzi Po” founded a Spirit Camp along the proposed route of the bakken oil pipeline, Dakota Access.

This Spirit Camp is called Iŋyaŋ Wakháŋagapi Othí, translated as Sacred Rock, the original name of the Cannon Ball, ND area (Cannon Ball is located in Sioux County, North Dakota and on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation). The Spirit Camp is dedicated to stopping and raising awareness around the Dakota Access pipeline, including the dangers associated with pipeline spills and the necessity to protect the water resources of the Missouri river.

What will the donations be used for?

While the donations are to be used by Sacred Stone as they see fit, there is an extended supply list, including legal fees and holistic medicinal items, that your donations could be used for.

Why are we donating?

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is proposed to transport as much as 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota crossing the Missouri River twice, through Standing Rock reserve lands and sacred sites, on to South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.

The pipeline route threatens sites of historical and cultural significance to many Northern Plains tribes, including the Lakota, Dakota, Mandan, Arikara and Cheyenne, and has violated a series of Federal Regulations sought to protect the environment and Native American tribes.

Click to enlarge.

The place where pipeline will cross on the Cannonball is the place where the Mandan [Native American tribe] came into the world after the great flood, it is also a place where the Mandan had their Okipa, or Sundance. Later, this is where Wisespirit and Tatanka Ohitika held sundances. There are numerous old Mandan, Cheyenne, and Arikara villages located in this area and burial sites. This is also where the sacred medicine rock [is located], which tells the future.
— LaDonna Bravebull Allard (Lakota, Dakota)
The dangers imposed by the greed of big oil on the people who live along the Missouri river is astounding. When this proposed pipeline breaks, as the vast majority of pipelines do, over half of the drinking water in South Dakota will be affected. How can rubber-stamping this project be good for the people, agriculture, and livestock? It must be stopped. The people of the four bands of Cheyenne River stand with our sister nation in this fight as we are calling on all the Oceti Sakowin or Seven Council Fires to do so with our allies, both native and non native in opposing this pipeline.
— Joye Braun (Cheyenne River)

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Wild Rice Soup with Turkey

Turkey Soup

Perfect for fall weather, simple to make and a delicious way to use up leftover turkey. For a vegetarian version, substitute seitan for the turkey and vegetable stock for the chicken broth.


  • 1/2 cup Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice, medium grain
  • 1/2 cup carrots, grated
  • 1 cup cooked turkey, shredded or chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, slivered
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk or half and half


  1. In a large saucepan, melt better over medium heat. Saute onion 5-10 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add flour and stir, then gradually whisk in stock to prevent lumps.
  3. Add wild rice, carrots, turkey, almonds, and salt, and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Add milk or half and half and heat through.

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey Hash

Turkey Hash

What to do with Thanksgiving meal leftovers? This turkey hash is perfect for any meal of the day. For a vegetarian version, simply skip the turkey or substitute it with veggie leftovers.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1⁄2 cups diced roast turkey
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup diced boiled or roasted potatoes
  • 1 cup diced cooked butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and peppers for 6-8 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the spices and sauté for another minute. Add the potatoes, squash and turkey. Adjust the heat under the skillet to very hot. Slightly mash the mixture in the skillet and let it brown for several minutes before stirring. Slightly mash the mixture again, and let sit for another few minutes to continue browning thoroughly. Add the water and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook another minute until the water is absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serving Suggestion

What a great way to use up your Thanksgiving meal leftovers! Serve the hash with fried eggs and smothered with turkey or mushroom gravy. Not a turkey lover? Make a vegetarian version using just leftover veggies.

Vegan mushroom gravy

This gravy complements vegetarian holiday favorites like garlic mashed potatoes or vegan turkey.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until softened, then add the mushrooms and sauté until browned. Add the vegetable stock, tamari, rosemary and thyme and bring to a boil.
  2. In a small skillet, heat the remaining olive oil and whisk in the flour to form a roux. Add the roux to the stock once it begins to boil and whisk until smooth. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until it reaches desired thickness. Serve immediately.

DIY Herb Butters & Spreads


A softened butter mixed with herbs, spices, and other seasonings, compound butters can quickly and effortlessly add flavor to many dishes.

To try your hand, have ready a small bowl of softened butter. Rinse herbs, then shake dry; gently pat with paper towels. Finely chop, then mix into the butter. A mini food processor can speed things along. You can also use the processor to fully blend a small amount of herb into the butter until it turns a lovely shade of green. 

Store your herb butter in a sealed container and refrigerate to use over the next several days. For larger amounts, roll the butter into a log shape with the help of plastic wrap. Over-wrap in foil, label, and freeze.

Try creating compound butters with different flavor combinations, and experiment with a variety of uses, such as the following:

Spread on sandwiches

Try tarragon/chive butter on a chicken sandwich or a cucumber and watercress tea sandwich for a bridal shower, tea party-style.

Finish roasted or grilled salmon or sautéed shrimp

Dill/parsley butter and a squeeze of lemon will complement seafood for your next dinner with friends.

Toss with pasta

Marjoram/basil butter with a grind of black pepper and plenty of Parmesan will make a nice side dish.

Add to rice pilaf

Cilantro/green onion butter plus some tomato sauce or paste can give rice a Southwestern flair.

Rub under the skin of a chicken, then roast

Chicken is less likely to be overwhelmed by sturdier herbs like thyme and rosemary, so try them in a butter, which will keep the chicken moist and add flavor. You’ll also get delicious pan juices for an accompanying sauce.

Finish vegetables

Most vegetables taste great with a dollop of butter, and the already-incorporated herb is a plus.

For toast and pancakes

Compound butters with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg are great for brunch.

Finish grilled meat

Add butter with blue cheese or smoked paprika to your next cookout.

Turkey Roasting Tips

Turkey Roasting Tips

Roast your turkey to perfection with these turkey roasting tips.


  1. Remove the giblets from turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.
  2. Set oven temperature no lower than 325°F.
  3. Place turkey or turkey breast on lower rack in a shallow roasting pan.
  4. For even cooking, bake stuffing in a separate casserole dish, versus in the bird. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The center should reach 165°F.
  5. If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time. Separate wet and dry ingredients, and chill wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery and onions, broth, etc.) until ready to prepare. Mix wet and dry ingredients together just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches 165°F.
  6. Whole turkeys should be cooked to 165°F. To check for doneness, insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the inner thigh without touching the bone.
  7. Turkey breasts should be cooked to 165°F. Insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the breast to check for doneness.
  8. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.

Turkey roasting timetable

Oven times are approximate and will vary. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure the correct internal temperature of 165°F has been reached.

325°F oven temperature


4–8 lbs → 1.5–2.75 hours
8–12 lbs → 2.75–3 hours
12–14 lbs → 3–3.75 hours
14–18 lbs → 3.75–4.25 hours
18–20 lbs → 4.25–4.5 hours
20–24 lbs → 4.25–5 hours


6–8 lbs → 2.5–3 hours
8–12 lbs → 3–3.5 hours
12–14 lbs → 3.5–4 hours
14–18 lbs → 4–4.25 hours
18–20 lbs → 4.25–4.75 hours
20–24 lbs → 4.75–5.25 hours



Thawing in the refrigerator

Keep the turkey wrapped and place it in a pan. Let it stand in the refrigerator roughly 24 hours for each 5 pounds. Large turkeys should stand in refrigerator a maximum of 5 days. The giblets and neck, which are customarily packed in the neck and body cavities of frozen turkeys, may be removed from the bird near the end of the thawing period. If desired, the giblets and neck may be refrigerated and reserved for use in giblet gravy.

Thawing in cold water

Make certain that the turkey is in a leak-proof package or a zipper-seal plastic bag. This prevents bacteria in the surrounding environment from being introduced into the food, and prevents the poultry tissues from absorbing water. Change the cold water every 30 minutes. Approximately 30 minutes per pound of turkey are required for thawing. After thawing in cold water, the turkey should be cooked immediately.

USDA meat and poultry hotline

1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)
TTY: 1-800-256-7072
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday


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Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Tender acorn squash is filled with apple and dried cranberry stuffing for a delectable side or main dish.


  • 2 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cups diced apple, cored and seeds removed (about 2 large apples)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1⁄3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch each of salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place acorn squash halves face down on a rimmed sheet pan or baking dish and add 1/2 inch of water to the pan. Bake squash for 40 minutes.
  2. While the squash is baking, heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes until soft. Add the apples, cranberries, maple syrup, water and cinnamon; stir well and cook another 5 to 10 minutes until the apples begin to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  3. After the squash has baked for 40 minutes, remove from the oven, turn them cut side up, and fill each with the apple stuffing. Place back into the oven and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until the squash is tender. Serve warm.

Serving Suggestion

Slice the stuffed squash halves into wedges to serve as a side with ham, turkey or chicken, or serve each half as a vegetarian entrée.

Kabocha Squash Soup

Kabocha Squash Soup

Total Time: 45 minutes. Servings: 4-6

Earthy, Indian spices add delicious warmth and depth to this rich squash soup.


  • 1 medium kabocha squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Carefully cut squash into halves or quarters; remove the seeds, drizzle cut sides with olive oil and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until very tender. Scrape the flesh into a bowl and discard the skin. Roughly chop the squash.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 6 to 8 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and jalapeño and cook another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the spices and stir for one minute. Add broth, coconut milk and squash and bring the soup just to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer the soup for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges.

Serving Suggestion

This winter soup warms you up with its subtle Indian-influenced flavors. You can use any dense, slightly sweet winter squash, like butternut or Hubbard, if kabocha is not available. Serve over brown rice for a heartier dish.


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Creating the Perfect Cheese Plate

Cheese Plate

Putting together a spectacular cheese platter is easier than you might think. Here are a few tips:

The cheese platter

  • Serve cheese at room temperature. The cold from the refrigerator inhibits its flavor, so take your cheese out half an hour before guests arrive to allow it to “bloom.”
  • Provide a serving utensil for each variety of cheese on your tray.
  • Serve a selection of three to five contrasting cheeses. Think different tastes, colors, and textures, like mild with robust (like Brie with blue cheese), fresh with aged (like Boursin with aged Gruyere), or soft with hard cheeses (like chevre with Parmesan).
  • Create a themed tray by offering cheeses from one region or source, or showcase an array of cheeses made from different milks (cow, goat, sheep).


Whether you serve them individually or on the same platter, some foods are perfect complements to cheese. These include:

  • Fresh and dried fruits
  • Crostini, flatbread, and other crackers
  • Hearty and crusty breads
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Honey

To create an antipasto platter, include a mix of marinated vegetables and cured meats.

Wine and beer cheese pairings

In general, a wine that comes from the same geographic area as the cheese will be a good match. Here are some other pairings:

  • Goat cheeses and dry red wines
  • Cheddars with sweet wines and pale and brown ales
  • Fresh, medium, and hard cheeses with crisp, fruity red or white wine
  • Cheeses with bloomy rinds (like Brie) and fruity red wines or light, dry champagnes
  • Swiss cheeses with dark lagers, bocks, and Oktoberfest beers
  • Feta and wheat beers
  • Sweet cheeses with fruity beers


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Classic Pumpkin Pie

Total Time: 1 hour; 15 minutes active. Servings: 8

This classic, easy pumpkin pie is one you'll want to make over and over again.


  • 1 3/4 cups (or 1 15-oz can) pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 9-inch homemade pie crust or prepared pie crust
  • Whipped cream (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400⁰F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except pie crust and optional whipped cream and beat until smooth.
  3. Pour into pie shell and bake at 400⁰F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350⁰F and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool on a wire rack for 2-3 hours before slicing. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if using.

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News Roundup: November 4, 2016

News Roundup

'Peoplehood' parade in West Philly pits community power against oppression

Spiral Q's annual march for social justice through community activism wound through the streets of West Philadelphia on Saturday led by the group's signature giant puppets.

Board member Katrina Clark kicked off the 17th annual Peoplehood parade with a call to solidarity. Read more.

The long process of opening a grocery cooperative in Kensington is (probably) ending soon

It pays to befriend your local politician.

Kensington Community Food Co-op (KCFC) knows. Last week, the 780-member, community-owned grocery store announced its receipt of a $350,000 grant from the City of Philadelphia — effectively cutting its funding gap in half and bumping up its estimated open date — thanks to help from Councilman Mark Squilla and the Department of Commerce.

“It’s definitely a big deal,” said Peter Frank, VP of KCFC and executive director of Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance. Read more.

Can Philly afford to maintain its huge, aging mural collection?

For 30 years, Frank Washington, the late Germantown native and Harlem Globetrotter, had watched over the intersection of Wayne and Chelten avenues. People had grown attached.

But the wall bearing his portrait recently required extensive repairs, and the likeness was no more. Read more

You pay what you can at the new EAT Cafe in West Philadelphia

Many Philadelphians cannot afford a quality meal.

West Philadelphia's EAT Cafe, premiering Oct. 26 in a rowhouse at 3820 Lancaster Ave., is designed to address that issue. Four evenings a week, EAT will offer tasty, nutritious dinners. When the check comes, patrons may pay whatever they wish. Read more.

West Philly Gucci House Narrowly Avoids Demolition

In the early summer of 2011, someone noticed that the residents of a building on North 50th Street in the Mill Creek section of West Philadelphia had decorated their house with an excellent paint job — the trademark green-and-red stripe of Gucci, with a slightly altered version of the interlocking “G” pattern found on Gucci products. Photos of the house floated around the Internet. Read more

Winter Squash Guide

With a dozen common varieties readily available, choosing a winter squash to prepare can be confounding for the home cook. We’ve compiled descriptions of common varieties as well as some handy tips for selecting the right squash for you and plenty of delicious squash recipes you'll love.


Delicata Squash

Great "single-serving" squashes, perfect for halving and baking. You can serve them hot with butter and brown sugar, or stuff them with any number of fillings, from savory to sweet. Their flesh is yellow-orange, mild tasting, and quite juicy, and the rinds are tender enough to eat.

  • Selection: Because they are more susceptible to breakdown than other winter squash, take care to select squash without scratches or blemishes, or they may spoil quickly.
  • Best Uses: Delicata’s walls are thin, making it a quick-cooking squash. It can be sliced in 1/4-inch rings and sautéed until soft and caramelized (remove seeds first), halved and baked in 30 minutes, or broiled with olive oil or butter until caramelized.
  • Other varieties: Sugar Loaf and Honey Boat are varieties of Delicata that have been crossed with Butternut. They are often extremely sweet with notes of caramel, hazelnut, and brown sugar.


Acorn Squash

A little big for a single serving, these are classic, yellow-orange fleshed squashes. Creamy, nutty, and sweet, they're great for when you just want a cup or so of squash puree for a recipe. They are also a good size to slice or cube, without having more than you need.

  • Selection: Acorn squash should be uniformly green and matte—streaks/spots of orange are fine, but too much orange indicates over ripeness and the squash will be dry and stringy.
  • Best uses: baking, stuffing, mashing.
  • Other varieties: all-white “Cream of the Crop,” and all-yellow “Golden Acorn.”

Heart of Gold/Festival/Carnival

Carnival Squash

These colorful, festive varieties of squash are all hybrids resulting from a cross between Sweet Dumpling and Acorn, and are somewhere between the two in size. Yellow or cream with green and orange mottling, these three can be difficult to tell apart, but for culinary purposes, they are essentially interchangeable. With a sweet nutty flavor like Dumpling, and a tender-firm texture like Acorn, they are the best of both parent varieties.

  • Selection: Choose brightly colored squash that are heavy for their size.
  • Best uses: baking, stuffing, broiling with brown sugar.


Butternut Squash

The smooth textured, bright orange flesh of the butternut is perfect for cubing and roasting, or for pureeing for pies and cakes.  Bonus points for having the long neck, which can be sliced crosswise to make beautiful rounds for roasting or layering in a gratin.

  • Selection: Choose the amount of squash needed by weight. One pound of butternut equals approximately 2 cups of peeled, chopped squash.
  • Best uses: soups, purees, pies, recipes where smooth texture and sweetness will be highlighted.
  • Other varieties: “honey nut,” a sweeter and smaller version of butternut squash.


Spaghetti Squash

These football-sized, bright yellow squash are very different from other varieties in this family. Spaghetti squash has a pale golden interior, and is stringy and dense. After sliced in half and baked, use a fork to pry up the strands of flesh and you will see it resembles and has the texture of perfectly cooked spaghetti noodles. These squash are not particularly sweet but have a mild flavor that takes to a wide variety of preparations.

  • Selection: choose a bright yellow squash that is free of blemishes and soft spots.
  • Best uses: baked and separated, then mixed with pesto, tomato sauce, or your favorite pasta topping.

Pie Pumpkins

Pie Pumpkin

Pie pumpkins differ from larger carving pumpkins in that they have been bred for sweetness and not for size. They are uniformly orange and round with an inedible rind, and are sold alongside other varieties of winter squash (unlike carving pumpkins which are usually displayed separately from winter squash). These squash are mildly sweet and have a rich pumpkin flavor that is perfect for pies and baked goods. They make a beautiful centerpiece when hollowed out and filled with pumpkin soup.

  • Selection: Choose a pie pumpkin that has no hint of green and still has a stem attached; older pumpkins may lose their stems.
  • Best uses: pies, custards, baked goods, curries and stews.


Blue Hubbard

Good for feeding a crowd, these huge, bumpy textured squash look a bit like a giant gray lemon, tapered at both ends and round in the middle. A common heirloom variety, Blue Hubbard has an unusual, brittle blue-gray outer shell, a green rind, and bright orange flesh. Unlike many other winter squashes, they are only mildly sweet, but have a buttery, nutty flavor and a flaky, dry texture similar to a baked potato.

  • Selection: Choose a squash based on size—1 pound equals approximately 2 cups of chopped squash (tip: if you don’t have use for the entire squash, some produce departments will chop these into smaller pieces for you).
  • Best Uses: baked or mashed, topped with butter, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Other varieties: Golden or Green Hubbard, Baby Blue Hubbard.

Kabocha (Green or Red)

Kobocha Squash

Kabocha can be dark green with mottled blue-gray striping, or a deep red-orange color that resembles Red Kuri. You can tell the difference between red Kabocha and Red Kuri by their shape: Kabocha is round but flattened at stem end, instead of pointed. The flesh is smooth, dense, and intensely yellow. They are similar in sweetness and texture to a sweet potato.

  • Selection: Choose heavy, blemish free squash. They may have a golden or creamy patch where they rested on the ground.
  • Best Uses: curries, soups, stir-fry, salads.
  • Other varieties: Buttercup, Turban, Turk’s Turban.

Red Kuri

Red Kuri Squash

These vivid orange, beta carotene-saturated squash are shaped like an onion, or teardrop. They have a delicious chestnut-like flavor, and are mildly sweet with a dense texture that holds shape when steamed or cubed, but smooth and velvety when pureed, making them quite versatile.

  • Selection: Select a smooth, uniformly colored squash with no hint of green.
  • Best Uses: Thai curries, soups, pilafs and gratins, baked goods.
  • Other varieties: Hokkaido, Japanese Uchiki.

Sweet Dumpling

These small, four- to-six-inch round squash are cream-colored with green mottled streaks and deep ribs similar to Acorn. Pale gold on the inside, with a dry, starchy flesh similar to a potato, these squash are renowned for their rich, honey-sweet flavor.

  • Selection: pick a smooth, blemish-free squash that is heavy for its size and is evenly colored. Avoid a squash that has a pale green tint as it is underripe.
  • Best uses: baking with butter and cinnamon.


Reprinted by permission from Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes and a whole lot more at

All about the dough

Berry Pie

Pie is one of those treats that is incredibly versatile. The size, shape and design can be tailored to the baker’s liking and fillings can be easily changed to reflect the season.

But, the best part of the pie? The crust.

Follow our basic guide to create the best homemade crust this holiday season.

The 3:2:1 pie dough ratio

The most flaky, tender crust comes down to a simple 3:2:1 ratio of ingredients—flour, fat, water— no actual recipe needed. This is the basics foundation for not only pies, but also tarts, galettes, pot pies, hand pies and more.

The “3” in this ratio is flour. Pastry flour contains less gluten than all-purpose flour and therefore creates a more tender crust, but all-purpose flour will work just fine if that’s what you have on hand.

The “2” is fat. Butter is the most common type of fat used, but other solid fats will work as well. Lard produces a flaky crust; coconut oil can be used to create a vegan crust. Substitute chicken or bacon fat for a portion of the fat in savory applications. Whatever fat you choose, it must be cold and solid - no liquid oils as they don't create the necessary air pockets for a light, flaky crust.

The “1” is ice cold water. Dissolve about 1/4 teaspoon of salt per batch to make the water extra cold.

The amounts in the 3:2:1 ratio refer to the weight (e.g. 3 oz. flour, 2 oz. fat, 1 oz. water). With those exact measurements you could make a pie crust, but it would be quite small. To know exactly how much dough you need you must first know how big your pie pan is. A basic rule of thumb: one inch of pan equals one ounce of dough. Using the standard nine inch pie pan, follow this recipe:

4.5 ounces flour + 3 ounces fat + 1.5 ounces water + 1/4 teaspoon salt = 9 ounces

Don't have a kitchen scale? Never fear. One cup of flour weighs roughly 4.5 ounces. How convenient! And 1 ounce equals 2 tablespoons. With this in mind, here’s the same recipe as above for a single batch:

1 cup flour + 6 tablespoons fat + 3 tablespoons water + 1/4 teaspoon salt = 9 ounces

Making a pie that requires a top crust? Just double the recipe.

How to mix pie dough

Pecan Pie

The most important step is cutting the cold fat into the flour. If you don’t do this, you’ll lose the flakiness. The easiest way to do this is with a food processor. Add your flour and then your cold fat (cut up into smaller tablespoon-size chunks). Now pulse the machine until the mixture creates pea-size pieces of fat evenly distributed throughout the flour.

With the machine running, stream in your water until the mixture forms a dough. You may need to add slightly more water if your mixture is too crumbly, but don’t add too much more or your crust will turn out tough. A little crumble is what you’re looking for.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can cut your butter using a pastry blender: two butter knives. Put your flour in a bowl, add your cold butter or other fat and start cutting away until you get those pea-size pieces. Make a well in the middle of your mixture, add your water and combine by hand until a dough forms.

Chill pie dough before using

Chilling the dough prior to baking is key. If you’re making a single batch, form the dough into a disk, wrap it up and place it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. If you’re making a double batch, divide the dough in two and do the same thing.


Authored by Megan Dom. Reprinted by permission from Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes and a whole lot more at

Planning for Thanksgiving

Holiday gatherings don’t need to be elaborate or stressful. Whether you’re entertaining a couple or a crowd, Mariposa is here to help. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

How much food will you need?

These general guidelines will help you plan the correct amount of food to make or purchase.

Great beginnings

Set out a tray or two of snacks before the main meal; it’s a great way to welcome guests.

  • Fresh dates served with a spiced, roasted nut mix
  • Artisanal cheese tray of local cheeses, with fine flatbread crackers and crostini
  • Crispy raw vegetables and a selection of dips, like soft chevre blended with herbs, hummus with a swirl of fresh or prepared pesto, or garlicky aioli
  • Meat or veggie paté, sausage bites, cooked shrimp and smoked fish with spicy mustard sauce and baguette slices

Delicious desserts

An alternative (or addition) to the traditional pie makes for a memorable ending.

  • Homemade brownies topped with mint or vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce
  • A selection of chocolate truffles served with freshly-baked cookies
  • Warm brie glazed with apricot preserves and sprinkled with toasted pecans or walnuts