Party Girl: Elements of Earth Day

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It's Earth Day, and your blogroll is probably dripping with hippy-dippy ideas on everything from recycling and composting, to organic meals and eco-friendly wine picks.

Party Girl loves the Earth as much as the next girl, but knows that you're probably up to your eyeballs in GREEN today, and ready for something a little different.

So how about a party?! Back before it had its own holiday, Earth was simply a name for one of the 4 classical elements that ancient peoples considered to be the basis of all matter. We modern peoples can build on the same idea to turn out an elegant dinner party that honors Earth Day without leaving dirt under your nails or mud on your shoes.

Gather up some friends and pour some eco-wines (see? we do love the Earth!) while setting out a spread of dishes based on the ancient principles of Earth, Fire, Air and Water.

FIRE: Grilled Bacon Jalapeno Wraps
What better way to represent the element of Fire than by grilling a spicy chili pepper over an open flame? This sophisticated update to the pub-favorite jalapeno popper pairs the chilies with cream cheese and crispy bacon. Source some local pork (tastier, and with a smaller carbon hoofprint) to up the eco-friendliness.

EARTH: Grilled Mushroom Risotto
As the VIP of the party (it's her day, after all), let Earth take a starring role in the evening's menu. A meatless main dish packed with earthy mushrooms will surprise even the most experienced of dinner guests. Bonus: Cutting out meat at one meal per week is estimated to produce the same environmental impact as switching to a hybrid car.

WATER: Sprouts and Water Chestnut Salad
Dish up this Asian-flavored salad packed with water chestnuts as an homage to the Water element. (Sidenote: In an ill-fated web search pairing the words "water" and "salad," I learned of this frightening Japanese Coca-Cola beverage called Water Salad. Seriously?)

AIR: Meringue Cookie Sandwiches
Whip egg whites until they're puffed up into air-filled clouds, and you've got meringue. Sandwich them around light-as-air whipped cream, and you've got pure bliss. Save electricity (and build arm muscle) by whipping them by hand -- as a recent pastry school grad, Party Girl can assure you it's not as difficult as it seems.

See other environmental ideas from RentedSpaces.
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