On Thursday, July 2nd, Potter Baseball hosted the Annapolis Cook-Off at Arnold Ball Park in Arnold, Maryland, a wonderful event that reflected Jeff Potter’s vision and commitment to love and baseball the Potter Way.

Courtesy of Potter Baseball

Courtesy of Potter Baseball

Teach The Children Well.

What makes Potter Baseball so special?  This program utilizes the sport of baseball as the core of its theme and cleverly incorporates other concepts, namely community service, health, respect for self and others and charity work, thereby creating a  lesson in life.  Each summer the program participants gather on weekends to play in tournaments in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  While on these tours, the team holds fundraisers for charities, collects food for donations and visits historic sites in the locales and supports their causes, such as the Bull Run Warrior Retreat.  Often they experience the hospitality of area teams and their families who offer them accommodations.

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After a brief hiatus I’m happy to be back and cooking for the LGBG faithful. in the spirit of the holiday season, I’m proud to present this recipe created with the goal of sustainability. As we all know, and if my family is any indication, this time of the year awards us with a gluttonous amount of food, and more importantly leftovers. This recipe allows you to take your leftovers and efficiently transform them into a new and delicious meal. Side dishes such as peas, carrots, and corn are transformed into a great filling for the pot pie and affords you the ability to spend more time with the people who matter the most. So without further ado I present to you my recipe for leftover chicken pot pie.


  • 3 cups leftover chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup white wine of your choice
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 half-and-half milk
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)

For the pastry:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper



In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock, white wine and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the mixture. In a large pot add the hot chicken stock and the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and half-and-half. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, and peas.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. In a food processor pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the filling equally among 4 oven-proof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown.

The return of football season is, as President Calvin Coolidge put it, a return to normalcy for many of us: the fantasy football leagues, the trash-talking amongst friends, the stats, and of course, what football discussion would be complete without discussing a factor that on occasion eclipses the importance of the game (especially if you are a Jets fan like myself), the tailgate. Even if you are not at the game, though, Sunday football is always an occasion to treat yourself and continue in many ways that great summer barbecue-potluck tradition.   We here at LGBG feel exactly the same way. However, despite popular belief, just because we are going big, we do not have to go against the environment. It is actually incredibly easy to make great food for Sunday football and still be eco-friendly. The eco-friendliness of one’s food depends merely on how it is prepared and how it is served. Today I am going to help walk you through making a great recipe, while still doing our duty as citizens committed to a greener world. With that said, let us get down to business so we may move  on to the more important part, eating.

Some may call me a heretic, but a great place to start to ensure an eco-friendly recipe is not to bring the grill with you to the parking lot or to turn it on at home. Simply put, burning charcoal is terrible for the environment and for those around you. A natural gas grill would be a better option for those who are environmentally conscious, but the best option is to skip it altogether. This, however, as my recipe will show, does not mean we will not have a mouth-watering dish that will be the talk of the crew (also a great release for your passive-aggressiveness against your neighbor, Steve). Everyone loves his potato salad with bacon in it; however, you know he buys it from that gourmet deli two towns over, but you are too much the man to be petty about these things. You have to beat him with your own two hands. Maybe that way your wife will stop talking about how many more vacations Steve and his family get to take. I don’t know, this is how the suburbs work right: mellow drama, hidden rivalries, and “friendships” based on convenience).

Now that we’ve eliminated the grill, we still need to figure out the specifics of serving our mouth-watering dish. The simple and common answer is to go out and buy a large number of plastic utensils and paper plates.  It may be the easy option but the momentary convenience of this option results in both wasted money, as well as a contribution to waste in our landfills (if they even reach them). The eco-friendlier, as well as cheaper option, is to merely bring your own plates and utensils. While it may mean more cleanup at the end of the day, you are doing yourself and the environment a favor.

Now we are getting to the recipe itself, but before we start cooking, we need our ingredients and if we want to eco-friendly we want them local.

In the process of buying local for Sunday football, you can benefit yourself, your community, and the environment: locally grown food tastes better, has a greater and more beneficial impact on your local economy, and reduces your carbon footprint. The longer it takes for food to reach your plate, the less nutritional value it holds for you. Food purchased at big box stores, unless noted as being locally grown, has usually been in cold storage for days.  The food you purchase at a local farmers market has typically been picked in the last twenty-four hours, and as such, has a greater nutritional value than food that has been in cold storage. This ties in with the taste factor; locally grown food tastes better. It is picked at the peak of ripeness, and you have it on your plate within a day of that. With regards to produce that has been put in cold-storage, it has most likely been picked while still green and gassed in order to make it ripe. Simply put, fresher is always better.  Another great benefit of buying local is the benefit to your local community. By buying local, you are pumping more money into your local economy which will have a greater multiplier effect than if you were to buy from a big chain store. You are supporting a local business whose entire infrastructure is based in your area, and as such, all of their expenditures take place in your local economy; this is as opposed to a big chain store whose produce comes from all over the country and through overhead sends a great deal of the money spent in these stores to areas other than the local economy.

It is also important to recognize the beneficial environmental impact that buying local provides. The ingredients of the average American meal travel 1,500 miles to reach your plate.  By switching to one locally grown meal a week, Americans could save 1.1 million barrels of oil. Overall organic local systems leave a carbon footprint equivalent to 40% of that of non-locally grown food through cutting out long transportation, as well as utilizing organic methods.  Furthermore, when you buy local, you are promoting more open space in your area. You are giving a viable economic reason to have more space, which is carbon absorbing as opposed to carbon producing high rises or commercial/industrial districts. If you don’t know where to start when looking for locally grown food or farmers markets, http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/ is here to help you.

Lastly, we come to the recipe, which I freely admit is not my own. You can ask the editor (my former roommate), I am the farthest thing on the spectrum from a Chef so I have turned to more capable hands.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Nachos


  • 2 chicken breasts, about 3/4 lbs.
  • 2-3 tbs chipotle sauce (found in the Hispanic food aisle near the adobo pepper in chipotle sauce – otherwise, just pulse some of those with the sauce and use as a substitute)
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed (I store my extra in the fridge in an airtight container to throw onto salads and in other things throughout the week)
  • Tortilla chips
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded cheese of choice (just discovered a chipotle Cheddar that I’m kind of obsessed with)
  • 4 scallions, chopped, green part only
  • 1 jalapeno
  • Sour cream, guacamole, salsa


Place the chicken in a slow cooker with chipotle sauce and barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on high for 3 – 4 hours, or until easily shred with a fork. Reduce heat to warm setting, shred chicken, add additional barbecue sauce if desired. Stir in the black beans.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In an oven proof skillet, or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arrange a single layer of chips. Top with 1/2 of the pulled chicken, peppers, onions and cheese making sure to go from edge to edge. Cover with another layer of chips and repeat with the top layer. Cover everything with cheese.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with scallions and jalapenos. If using a skillet, place a hot mat on the table and serve right from the skillet and serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa for dipping.

Enjoy, and remember it is you who makes this eco-friendly and you who empowers the sustainability movement through your wallet! Also, I hope the Jets beat the Bills in Week 3, and I hope the editor allows this through.






A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Wash...

A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Washington Monument. Location: WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (DC) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Fourth of July is tomorrow, and for those planning picnics and barbecues, we have some last-minute suggestions to make this day a happy green celebration.

  1. Buy local produce—  This is a great time to support local fruit and vegetable farm stands.  In addition to getting the best bargains on your fruits and vegetables, you also will get an extra bang for your buck with fresh products that are organic— no pesticides, preservatives or GMOs.
  2. Grill green and guilt-free.  We know that grilling has an adverse impact on the environment and increases our carbon footprint.  This is true with both propane and charcoal grilling.  According to Steve Skerlos, environmental engineering professor, “what you grill matters as much or more than how you grill”.  The main issue here that often is ignored is the amount of water consumption associated with the production of the product going on the grill.  Consequently, chicken and vegetables have less of a water impact than red meat.  Skerlos suggests putting as much food as possible on the grill because “the more you cook at once, the more efficient you are going to be”.  See video at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/02/green-grilling-4th-of-july-barbecue_n_3535757.html?ir=Detroit.
  3. Reduce electricity consumption.  If your holiday party will continue after dark, consider using solar lamps and lanterns.  These lights will serve as part of your decor while simultaneously reducing your use of electricity.  These products are charged simply placing them in the sun or with the use of batteries.  Check Ikea and/or Target for these products.
  4. Leave fireworks to the professionals.  While fireworks are an accepted part of traditional Fourth of July celebrations, we ask that you leave this part of the celebration to the experts.  Avoid the use of home firework displays as they often result in injury and/or death.  They are costly and not a good buy.  Also, they are prohibited in many jurisdictions.  Take this opportunity to enjoy municipal or other public displays, which incorporate special precautions to ensure the safety of viewers and which offer spectacular displays.
  5. Green your alcohol consumption.  The Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate with organic wines and beers.  There are many selections available to complement healthy grill selections and side dishes.  Check with your local liquor stores for suggestions, and do’t forget to peruse the craft beer selections.  Two good places to start are:
    • http://www.opportunitygreen.com/green-business-blog/2011/05/19/top-10-organic-beers, and
    • http://dontfearthevegan.com/2012/05/30/worthy-of-sharing-trader-joes-vegan-beers-wines/.
  6. Recycle.  Please consider recycling your trash during your celebration.  Your guests, more than likely, will be pleased to have clearly designated containers for trash.  This will save cleanup time when the party is over, facilitate easy curbside placement for trash pickups or trips to the dump, and most importantly give you, the hosts more times to mingle and enjoy your company.  Lastly, you will benefit the environment.

We here at LGBG wish everyone a health, happy, safe, GREEN Fourth of July!

We all realize the importance of a healthy diet.  Nevertheless, we often find it difficult to incorporate “green” diets into our lives because face it—that plate of salad and skinless chicken breast does not look as appetizing as that juicy burger with the melted cheese and other topping on that huge toasted bun.

With a little research and creativity, it is possible to prepare “green” food that appears appetizing, and most importantly, tastes good.  A great place to start is with recipes influenced by Asian, Latino and Mediterranean cuisine.  Try planning a meal with the vegetables as the centerpiece. And then add meat.  Avoid just boiling vegetables and pay attention to enhancing the flavor of these items by adding seasonings and color with the use of varieties of peppers.  Also be mindful that the serving size of vegetables and whole grains should be larger than the serving of meat. 

When planning meals, purchase fresh and lean cuts of meat.  Incorporate heart-healthy seafood into your diet.  Learn healthy cooking techniques and avoid frying meats and seafood as much as possible.  If you grill meat, avoid over-charring as this cooking method releases toxins Try marinating meats with seasonings and juices to enhance the flavor.  Be mindful that the reduction of the use of salt goes a long way to improve the heart.


During your time browsing online, pay attention to the many websites available with healthy recipes and cooking tips, along with meal planners.  While shopping, take advantage of the newsletters and meal planners available in most grocery stores. 


Summertime, with its bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, is a great time to experiment with “green” dieting.  This is an excellent opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint.  Let’s live green, be green.