Sunday, February 28, 2010


 Mike, right after the big win.  Note the Vancouver 2010 mug.  It was a Christmas gift from his mom.  I kind of want one too now. (I got those red mittens everyone was wearing, you know with the maple leaf on the fingertips)

My fiance is Canadian.  He (and I) are very happy that Canada's Men's Hockey team won the Gold Medal this evening (and very dramatically, I might add).

I am severely bummed that the Olympics are over.  I love them: the competition, the unification of countries together, the sports that aren't publicized year-round (like curling. I love curling!), the montages, the sappy commercials about moms, and athletes, all of it!  I also love that there's something real to watch on tv for two weeks.  Not manufactured reality, like "reality TV," that's just people wanting their 15 minutes in fame for being the fattest, brattiest, or dumbest, but something that athletes train their whole lives and careers for.  

So here's to you, USA, for winning the most medals ever in a winter Olympics!

And here's to you Canada, for winning the most GOLD medals ever in a winter Olympics, more than the U.S.!

And thank you, Vancouver, for hosting a great Olympics, one that was even sustainably minded! (Read about it here)

 Farewell Olympics, until 2012 in London!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Secret" family recipe...

My mom used to cook at an assisted living facility.  She brought home many recipes from there to share with our family, but one of our favorite growing up is called "Tangy Cheese Buns."  (In our family, it's affectionately called "Baby Barf on a Bun" in reference to its uncooked appearance.)  Don't let the name fool you, they're delicious

When I was in college, and had my first apartment, my mom began for me a cookbook to collect favorite recipes, starting with some of hers that were my favorites, or that she thought would be useful for me as I began to fend for myself.  

Here is what she wrote in the "Tangy Cheese Bun" Entry:

Tangy Cheese Buns~ serves 77

American cheese-shredded 8.5 pounds
Bacon-chopped-cooked-drained 4.25 pounds
Tomatoes-fresh, diced 4.25 pounds
Mayo 2.5 cups
Worcestershire Sauce 1/4 cup

Mix together with mixer
Use #24 scoop on hamburger buns

Bake at 350 for approx 20-30 minutes.

Have fun! :-)

Now, I don't know if my mom thought I would need to feed the entire music department or what, but I whittled it down from the original commercial measurements to usable ones: 

Tangy Cheese Buns~ Serves 6

American Cheese (3 cups)
Bacon (1 1/2 cups)
Tomatoes (1 1/2 cups)
Mayo (1/2 cup)
Worcestershire Sauce (1 TBS)
I don't actually measure the ingredients, I just mix them all until it looks good and scoop it onto whatever buns I have around.  If the buns are fresh from the store, I toast them a little first to make them crispier.  Adjust the seasonings to what your family likes, I add a little hot sauce to mine, and use cheddar cheese instead...but the whole concept is delicious, and perfect for a quick supper!




Mike was dancing, he was so excited 
that we were having these for supper!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Now that I've posted a list of our changes for a better, greener world....I thought I should come clean (actually, dirty, I suppose) about some things we haven't changed....

So here goes (please be kind...)

  • I still buy paper towels (because the thought of a rag I used to clean the toilet with accidentally getting used for something else grosses me out.  Also we don't have hot water to wash in or a dryer to clean the germs...)  I also use these for patting meat dry.
  • We leave lights on....some accidentally, some on purpose (think motion sensored outdoor light)
  • Some foods I can't buy organic, we don't go without (Puff Pastry, for example...)
  • We leave most of our appliances plugged in (computer, coffee maker, television)
  • Organic wine, beer, and liquors are not a part of our regular consumption.
  • I still love the dollar store, even though I know it's all cheap crap.
  • Sometimes, I run to the store for one thing (not soo bad since I live 1 mile from a store, but still, it adds up.  And I feel guilty.)
  • I still use commercial shampoo, deodorant, and perfumes.
  • Tissues. (I do buy sustainably harvested/replanted forested)
  • Windshield washer fluid-IS there an ecologically sound option?
  • Bacon-I love commercial bacon, and it's in our price range.
  • I buy non-organic pasta and beans mostly.
  • We belong to a gym (Not just any gym, a big, open 24 hours a day with lights on and stereo blaring gym.  We should run and walk outdoors.....)
  • I want a clothes dryer.  Not for everyday use, but so that I have the choice to buy something at the thrift store and wear it the next day.  Also, we miss soft towels.
  • My favorite local deli doesn't carry organic lunch meat.  I still buy lunch meat every week.
  • Imported cheese are our weakness.
  • We keep our house at 65 all the time.  This is mostly for 3 reasons: 1) It's bad for our instruments to get warm and cold all the time 2) I think, with our old furnace, it's less efficient for us to turn it up and down all the time and 3) if it was at any lower, I would not leave the couch all winter and we'd eat TV dinners for 6 months.
  • Soda.  We're both soda addicts.  I try to limit my consumption to 1 a day, but....sometimes I fail.

While that's not all, it's what I think of regularly and would like to change eventually, but right now, it's not really in the cards.   Maybe someday...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

List of Changes

I was reading The Green Phone Booth and thought the The Conscious Shopper made a good point.  She observed that there's a lot of winter blahs and negativity floating around right now.  To make yourself feel just a wee bit better, she advises making a list of the green things you've changed, even the small stuff.  This is, I think, akin to "count your blessings."

It's hard for me to make a list of all green changes I've made on my journey, as I've been doing some of them my whole life, or unconsciously, so I'll list the conscious, recent changes-ones I've made since embarking out to live on my own. 

Since I was sort of negative all day, here's my go at "counting my green blessings:" (in no particular order)
  • Started a compost pile to use in the garden and make food scraps/waste useful
  • Switched to cloth napkins.
  • Ditched disposable plates, cups, and flatware
  • Eliminated most processed food from our diet.  
  • What pre-processed food we do eat, is mostly organic.
  • Bring my own silverware and cloth napkin to work daily
  • Switched to organic, fair trade coffee beans bought from a local food co-op
  • Purchase the majority of our meat from local, humane, grass-fed producers at the market.
  • Swapped my chemical-laden coffee creamer for organic chocolate soy milk
  • Canned summer produce (some, next year will be more...)
  • Frozen local produce to use year-round
  • Dried vegetables to use year-round.
  • Grow own vegetables (not so good at this one yet, but I'm trying...each year gets better!)
  • Make our own bread
  • Shop at thrift stores instead of big-box stores.
  • Gave up fast food
  • As bulbs burn out, replace them with CFLs
  • Fix, make do with, do without, or buying used items.
  • Keeping our thermostat at 65 (we'd go lower, but then our house gets too cold for instruments)
  • Eat in more
  • Eat less meat (we are meatless 2-3 nights a week)
  • Reduce/combine trips to places
  • I make our own laundry soap. 
  • Use vinegar as fabric softener
  • Right now, we hang dry all clothes
  • My primary cleaning supplies are vinegar and baking soda.  I also have a commercial all-natural cleaner.
  • Weather stripping our large windows to save energy, also weather stripped attic windows.
  • Reduced our paper towel use by quite a bit (I keep a few for wiping down the toilet, since I don't use bleach, hot water, or a dryer wash cleaning rags)
  • I use a diva cup
  • I no longer buy brown sugar in plastic bags.  I buy white sugar, and whatever doesn't fit into my regular sugar bin gets mixed with molasses and stored as brown sugar.
  • I use reusable shopping bags at the grocery store, the market, and carry some in my car.
  • I use reusable produce bags at the market and grocery store
  • Buy in bulk where I can to reduce packaging.
Phew! That's quite a list! I guess I hadn't realized quite how much we've changed already.  The Conscious Shopper was right...doing that made me smile.  Now you try it!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Maybe it's not enough apples....

...But I've been sick mostly for the last 3 weeks.  First it was a sore throat with congestion.  It was enough to make me stay home from work-the first time in almost 4 years.  I was doing great last week, just a lingering cough and some sniffles until Friday night, when I went to bed with a sore throat again....

Now, I have this horrible barking cough, minimal chest congestion, and a runny nose.  

I'm not writing this to complain (but I rarely get sick)...but to share with you a favorite family cold/cough remedy...

Grandma's Hot Sling:
Some fresh lemon juice (it's got Vitamin C), maybe a Tablespoon or 2
A tablespoon or so of honey
A good glug of whiskey (**note, growing up, we always used Jack Daniels...this evening I used my fiance's "Old Crow"...and it's a little rough around the edges...stick to Jack Daniels or Seagram's 7)
Hot water to fill a mug

I'm not sure if this is a primitive NyQuil or what, but it seems to work.  My Grandma makes 'em best: My Poppy says "I have to drink your grandmother's Hot Sling sitting on the bed; she make them strong!"

So bottoms up, and here's to good health!

PS.  I think my lack of posting is due to my battle with this darn cold.  I just don't seem to have any attention span when I get home from work.  Maybe next week.....