Wake Up The World (Brunch) Event May 14th!

World Fair Trade Day is May 14. Join the Wake Up the World campaign to take action for Fair Trade. Supporting farmers and workers around the world is as easy as a cup of coffee and a banana.

Fair Trade USA and Stag Dining Group invite you to join us for Wake Up the World Brunch on Saturday, May 14th at 10am in San Francisco. Chefs Jordan Grosser and Ted Fleury are committed to creating unforgettable dining experiences with a keen eye on social, economic and environmental sustainability. In celebration of World Fair Trade Day, Stag has prepared a delightful brunch menu that features a wide variety of Fair Trade Certified ingredients, paired with Fair Trade Certified coffee, tea and cocktails.

Please enter the code ClubDineIn20 for 20% off!


Sustainable Gifts To Give

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Shopping during the holidays is never as fun as it looks on television. Parking, long lines, the plethora of gizmos and gadgets leaves everyone dazed and confused. In the end, you may just end up buying something that the recipient really does not want or is environmentally damaging. This year, turn your focus on giving gifts that really matter and will make a positive difference.

1. Pick a charity that is meaningful to you and give in the honor of your recipient. This choice is more sustainable and thoughtful than anything material that will eventually end up in the trash. As cliché as it sounds, giving the gift of giving keeps on giving. You can determine how much you want to give so it  falls into your budget. My favorite charity is Heifer International. You can donate money to buy livestock, seeds, or trees which enables communities to generate food and income. Heifer trains the recipient family/community to sustainably raise their gift and share their resources with others. Equally favorite, Fair Trade (aka TransFair) empowers farmers and farm workers around the world to decide their most pressing local economic development needs for themselves, and reinvest in their products, cooperatives, and communities in sustainable ways.

2. A cookbook and pantry ingredients to help your recipient get started. My favorite starter cookbook is How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food By Mark Bittman. Bittman simply shows how to make cooking at home easier, with an emphasis on basic kitchen skills.

3. Tea. Not only is tea a really delicious drink to enjoy slowly, alone or with company, it’s healthy. Tea has been used as an herbal, medicinal concoction throughout Asia for thousands of years and has picked up  steam in America. Choosing organic, Fair-Trade tea will make the gift even sweeter as you will do the environment and farmers justice as well. My preferred tea house is Samovar in San Francisco and they have an easy website for ordering tea and accessories. Follow Samovar on Facebook or Twitter for discount codes.

4. Give gifts that create memories. Buy a membership to the museum, cooking class, or a joint spa treatment. Doing activities together will make your relationship stronger and both of you will have memories (and pictures) to last a lifetime. If you live in the Bay Area, I highly recommend gifting a day pass or membership to the California Academy of Sciences. Sign up on flash sale sites such as Blissmo and Fresh Guide to save big on service oriented and green-minded gifts.

5. Give the gift of health. Signing up for a dance class, gym membership, or personal training may seem like an extravagant purchase for oneself, therefore in the form of a gift it will be most appreciated. A personal training session might just give your recipient the jumpstart s/he needs. I really like working out at my local JCC gym and love all the classes they offer to members. Flash sales site are a great place to shop for local health oriented gifts!

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Indian-Spiced Pumpkin Latte

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When I hear the words Fall or Autumn, these images pop into my head:

Also, I am more inclined to use my oven to make vegetable roasts, poultry, and pumpkin pie. This time of the year, I like to try out new jams and experiment with anything that has pumpkin in it, except for pumpkin lattes at cafes. I remember paying $5 for a small pumpkin latte a few years ago and I threw it out after 5 sips. I couldn’t stand the flavors and haven’t been so inclined to mix pumpkin with espresso since then. However, Satish has a homemade espresso everyday and almost everyday I am tempted to make a specialty drink. However, he likes to keep it rather simple when it comes to his basic staples (coffee, cereal, rice) and prefers that I leave the experimenting to myself. I have waited a whole year to buy pumpkins, pumpkin purees, pumpkin spices, and pumpkin butter and I have been determined to make the best use of all my newly acquired pumpkin products. So when I woke up to rainfall yesterday morning, I knew that it was the day to make a pumpkin latte.

Indian-Spiced Pumpkin Latte

Serves 2.
2 cups  milk, organic preferred
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Butter*
1-2 teaspoons sugar, unrefined, unprocessed preferred**
1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder, fresh if possible
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
3-4 strands of saffron,  soaked in 1 tsp water for 15-30 mins (optional)
2 shots espresso or 1/2 cup brewed coffee***
1/4 cup milk to create a foam with espresso machine  (optional)

1. Add milk, pumpkin butter, cardamom powder, soaked saffron with its water, and ginger in a saucepan. Gently whisk to combine all of the ingredients and make sure the Pumpkin Butter is mixed in well (no lumps). Taste the mixture and add sugar if needed.

We prefer to use Fair Trade coffee and espresso grounds. Shouldn't all coffee be Fair Trade?

Organic milk is humane, healthy, hormone-free and tastes pretty phenomenal.

Whisk and taste. Add sugar or anymore of other spices to your liking.

We prefer to use unrefined, unprocessed sugar. Mascobado is less sweet than refined white sugar.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil on  medium heat. Remove from the stove, and give the saucepan a whirl. While the mixture is coming to a boil, make the espresso or coffee. Also, make the foam using the milk steamer on your espresso machine or a foamer. Keep an eye on the mixture, though.

The scent will be strong and colors rich.

Pour in the steamed milk on top for extra velvety richness.

3. Pour into two mugs and add espresso on top. Add foam from steamed milk on top if desired.

**If using store bought pumpkin butter, read the ingredients! Simple, unprocessed pumpkin butter has the following ingredients: pumpkin, spices, apple cider or lemon, and sugar.

**The pumpkin butter is really sweet, so hold off until adding sugar until you taste all of the ingredients. Also, white sugar is highly processed and I encourage you to try alternatives, such as unrefined Muscovado sugar.

***Read why Fair Trade coffee is a better option and how you can help poor farmers by making the better choices here. This latte can be made completely Fair Trade by using Fair Trade coffee, sugar, and spices.

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Fair Trade 101


Tea Harvest, Kenya

Image by franz88 via Flickr


What Does Fair Trade Really Mean?

Fair Trade provides a fair price for farmers which leads to higher living standards, thriving communities and more sustainable farming practices. It aims to educate and empower disadvantaged producers and connect them to a market, so they too can participate in global trade.

What Are Fair Trade products?

Almost everything you buy can be Fair Trade. The most common items are food products such as: coffee, tea, bananas, chocolate, sugar, rice, spices, cocoa, fruit, nuts, oils,  flowers, and handicrafts. For an extensive list of Fair Trade products look here.

Why Fair Trade?

By buying fair trade products, you are supporting:

  • Fair Prices for Workers
  • Healthy Working Environments
  • Community Development (Schools, Health Care, Electricity, etc.)
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Gender Equality in terms of Wages and Benefits
  • Democratic and Transparent Organizations
  • Higher Quality Products
  • Respect

And you are saying NO to:

  • Cyclical, Inescapable Poverty
  • Environmental Degradation
  • Forced Child Labor and Slavery
  • Unsafe, Unlawful Working Conditions

What You Can Do?

Fair Trade can only be successful if consumers (you and I) choose products that are Fair Trade Certified. Supporting Fair Trade is as easy as buying bananas or a cup of coffee. Just look for the fair trade label on the products you buy or ask your vendor if the product is Fair Trade certified. You can raise awareness in your community or just amongst friends and family by talking about Fair Trade. You can also organize events and initiatives in the classroom, office, city, or place of worship.

Club Dine In! has partnered with Fair Trade USA for a mixer to kickoff Fair Trade Month (October) in San Francisco, Ca. If you are in town, please come by and meet us! Each attendee will receive a special box of Fair Trade Tea and sample high quality cocktails, tea, chocolate, and much more! Sign up on Eventbrite or Facebook to save $5 at the door.


You can register for the event at: http://fairtrademonth.eventbrite.com/ and share the event with friends on Facebook.


Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.

Every Party Matters

October is the seventh annual Fair Trade Month and Club Dine In! is excited to join Trendy Lime and Fair Trade USA as a media partner for this year’s biggest fair trade party on September 29th.  Taking place at the greenest bar in the United States, Temple SF,  the kick-off unites Fair Trade USA’s diverse corporate, nonprofit and stakeholders in more than 100 events, promotions and fund-raising activities across the United States. Through these events and celebrations, Fair Trade USA aims to generate awareness of Fair Trade’s comprehensive approach to social, economic and environmental empowerment and sustainability among farming communities in the developing world.

You can register for the event at: http://fairtrademonth.eventbrite.com/ and share the event with friends on Facebook.

You can register for the event at: http://fairtrademonth.eventbrite.com/ and share the event with friends on Facebook