Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Got Rid of My Scented Plug Ins Today

If my house is clean enough it will not need electrically heated scented gels. I realized that these things use energy and money and they don't last long. They dry up quickly.

I'll stick with using my candles. They are prettier anyway.

Monday, July 30, 2007

More Fancy Feasts At the Local Buffet

Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

I had this at a gathering and it was good and fresh and different. So I decided to make one for myself at the local buffet using the fruit and salad bars.

I covered my salad plate with fresh spinach leaves and spooned whole fresh strawberries on top and then drizzled with the balsamic dressing. I think I sprinkled on some sesame seeds too. At the table I cut up the strawberries and some of the larger spinach leaves, mixed and it was, as Rachael Ray says..."YUMMO!"

It was another feast for the eyes as well. Green and red are opposites on the color wheel and so the contrast was perfect. It looked like Christmas on a plate.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My Husband Committed Pre-Meditated Snoring

I committed him. News at Eleven.

It just seems to me that, if, he knows he snores, he knows it's loud and he knows what helps him to not snore and he doesn't do it, it's pre-meditated. And yes, it is a crime in this state to keep me awake beyond all endurance. Of course, crimes of passion in this state are easily fought and won so if he pushes me too far, then, all's well that ends......................well.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

To Coin A Word

It seems that everything one does has it's own lingo including blogging. For example: the word blog is lingo for "web log". Someone must have said it three times fast.
Anyway...my new word is:
"Blingo" =descriptive word=describes the lingo used about blogs.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Buffet Food Made Fancy

My husband is consistant (read set in his ways) about foods he likes so the local buffet is perfect for him when we eat out. I on the other hand like variety so I've come up with a few tricks that make buffet dining more of an adventure for me.

I do give credit to the Food Network for their creative motivation in my food education.

Tonight for example.
I never would have thought of putting baked salmon on a bed of fresh, uncooked spinach from the salad section without the Food Network. Knowing from watching Food Network and other cooking shows/channels that spinach only needs to wilt to be considered "cooked", I knew the heat from the fish would be enough to accomplish that.

So, on a bed of bright green spinach I layed a nice piece of salmon and on top of that I add a dollop of tartar sauce and then a dollop of cocktail sauce on that and lightly mixed the two. At the table I squeezed some lemon over all and dug in with some of everything on every forkful.
The flavor was very fresh and satisfying and the presentation was pretty to look at and I felt proud of my "invention".

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How I Helped Save the Planet Today

I used less water when brushing my teeth. Instead of leaving it on full force, I turned it down to a trickle of a flow. Just enough to wet the toothbrush and rinse my mouth and the sink.

I used less water doing laundry by making sure I didn't need to use the full load cycle.

I used less detergent realizing the clothes in that one load were not that dirty.

I used less hot water and more bleach in the white load of laundry that did need more work to get clean enough.

What's for Dinner?

This meal used very few pre-made or processed foods so there is less waste generated and no trees were harmed in the making of this meal.

Chicken with Zuchinni, Onions, Garlic, Pasta, Olive Oil, Butter, Parmasan Cheese with parsley and chives added at the end.

Today we had chicken cut up and pan sauteed in first cold pressed Greek olive oil and real butter. Finish that up and take out of the pan and saute in the same pan: one medium cut up fresh zuchinni with one Vidalia onion and then add two cloves of minced garlic after the onion and zuchinni have cooked for a few minutes because the garlic will cook too fast if added with them. I used pre-minced from the jar. Add extra oil if needed and this is when I add more butter. Add chicken to this with a little pasta water and the pasta. This is a good place to add some milk or cream but not mandatory for this meal. Cook and stir until it thickens and then add the parmasan cheese as wanted to taste.

In boiling water I added a small palm full of salt and then one half box of rotini. Cook until al-dente and add to the chicken mixture. Mix well.

Enjoy! We did!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

J.K. Rowling Wrapped it Up Pretty

No spoilers here for now but I wanted to memorialize my satisfaction with the way Ms. Rowling decided to end the book/series. I am completely happy and if she chooses to continue the saga fine and if not, that's fine too.
Thank you for that. And, thank you for Harry Potter.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Green is the New Black

Speaking of fashion trends, the newest to hit the streets is organic, green, recycled, re-used, and not plastic.
But, what about plastic surgery?
My bag isn't plastic but my boobs are?
Save the planet!!!!!!!!!!!!..........don't get a boob job!!!
Probably some high end big wig hollywood doctor will start recycling breast implants.
I can see it now..."priced right, slightly used, former implants were lady driven, nonsmoker, low mileage, she upgraded to a sportier (bigger) model...supplies limited to the first 15 people to call!"

Oh no...an infomercial for plastic surgery that helps the environment.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I'm still reading the book but wanted to comment about the book being made from recycled materials and from trees that come from forests that are not endangered. Good decision!

It's not 100% recycled products but enough to matter and to possibly help motivate more of us take care of the environment too.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter Has a Middle Name and it's...

James! After his dad. Awww.
I felt a little discombobulated after seeing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix today. So much of the movie was different from the book. The person that drops the prophecy has changed identities, so has the person that ratted the DA out.

And, the mounted house elf heads were nowhere in sight, but, that may be a good thing.

I actually looked away when Harry was briefly possessed by you know who. Yikes!

One of my favorite lines in the movie is not in the book and one of my favorite lines in the book was kept verbatim in the movie, thank goodness!
Definately worth a look see.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Things That Are Green Quiz

Which Green thing doesn't belong?

Flower Stems.
Shrubs and hedges.
The green, green grass of home.
Money. Moola.
Brussel sprouts.
Green onions.

Frugal Friday Activities

TGIF...Thank Goodness it's Friday! That means it's dinner and a movie night!!!
We will be going to a matinee showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and after we will go to a nearby Cracker Barrel for a down home tasting supper.

A matinee movie generally costs a couple of dollars less than evening shows and as an extra bonus it's usually less crowded at the earlier shows so you have your pick of seats without having to worry about the tall person in front of you.

Cracker Barrel has consistantly given us fresh and tasty food for years. The prices are family friendly too. Their fried shrimp tastes just caught and the baked apple dumpling is the best I've ever eaten.

It'll be a fun night without breaking the bank. Frugal, fun Friday!

What's for Supper?

Baked ham.
Black eyed peas with real butter.
Kitchen sliced green beans with butter.
Cooked frozen corn with butter and a little greek seasoning and cracked black pepper.
Sliced fresh tomatoes with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
My family prefers baked ham without any additional sauces or fancy spiral slicing.
I thought about baking a macaroni and cheese but didn't have all the ingredients.

I have used cauliflower to make a faux mac and cheese. It's made exactly the same way as mac and cheese except you use cooked pieces of cauliflower instead of cooked pasta. I added a little extra salt and pepper. It doesn't taste the same but it's very good.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Going to See Order of the Phoenix Tomorrow

I finished re-reading the book today. I'd forgotten that Harry used an illegal curse in this book. He used it on the LeStrange woman...she had used it on Neville's parents and on Neville at the Ministy break-in. Voldemort had used it on Harry so he knows/knew how it would feel. I wonder if it'll be in the movie?

The eerie green cover of book six shows Harry and Dumbledore looking into a pensieve giving it the look of a history book, which in a way, it is. The examination of Tom Riddles heritage and the history of how he came to want and use the dark forces of magic to accomplish his self centered goals.

The cover of book seven looks like Harry is sitting on his broom reaching for a snitch. Not sure how that goes with the title, Deathly Hallows.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Homemade Caramel Candy with Pecans

I wanted toasted pecans today and usually I brown them in real butter with brown sugar but today I decided to add cream and cook a little longer than usual and it became candy like. Reminiscent of the pralines I've had in Savannah and New Orleans.
Delicious and nutricious.
I love the freedom of not having to measure ingredients. Just eyeball everything, stir and eat.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fruit of the Earth

Today's green food was fresh zuchinni again. Four medium squashes sliced like french fries, coated with olive oil (first cold pressed Greek olive oil), salt, fresh ground pepper and oven roasted on 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning once. Delish! A great side item and also a great addition to all kinds of pasta dishes.

I think I'll make my Italian sausage and pasta with parmesan sauce dish and add it cut into chunks with some cut up Vidalia onion.

My contribution to my Green Earth last night and today is to try and turn off anything electrical that glows. I've read if it has a light or glows then it is using energy. So, I turned off both computers. I'm thinking about giving up my plug in scents with night light. Maybe I can find out how much energy they really use and add up my savings in terms of energy saved and money saved.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cheerios Medley

A late night snack of three different Cheerios brand cereals with 2% organic cow milk hits the spot.

I mixed together Multi-grain Cheerios with the new Fruity Cheerios plus some of the new Berry Cheerios, added some Uncle Sam's for extra fiber ( I am on cholesterol watch) and the milk. On a one to ten scale, ten being perfect, I would give this snack a solid eight!

It tastes good and it's good for me and for the environment. I'm supporting healthier dairy farming and production by purchasing the organic milk. Organic milk seems to stay fresher tasting longer too.

This food is appealing in every way: physical health, taste, cost, and environment.

The Fruity Cheerios tastes better than Fruit Loops to me and it has less sugar.
The dried berries in Berry Cheerios have a strong flavor but that's the nature of dried foods.
Multi-grain Cheerios are just right. They have more flavor and sweetness than the regular Cheerios and are still good for me.

Ahhh...I never would have thought cereal could make me so happy.

Jiffy Cornbread Cake Review

I like it very much. After enjoying three slices with real whipped cream (from a tube) I've decided that I would make it again although not too often.
It keeps the classic Jiffy cornbread taste but using the Jiffy cake mix gives it a more refined texture. Surprisingly it was not much sweeter than the cornbread alone.
I think it would be great used as a strawberry shortcake.

My 9" square metal pan held all of the batter. It did bake to the top so it's a substantial cake and I tweaked the oven temperature a bit and it took a tad longer to bake than the cornbread alone or the cake alone.

A nice dessert or even used as a fancy cornbread with a frugal price tag. The bread/cake was probably no more than $1.00 to buy, mix, and bake. Not bad.

I used the directions and ingredients from both boxes and adjusted as follows:
*Two eggs (one for each box).
*Added milk and water to equal the totaled liquids for each box.
*Added a tablespoon of vegetable oil for extra moistness.
*I split the difference for baking temperature...one called for 350 degrees and the other was 400...so I averaged to 375 degrees and it baked just fine adding just a few minutes over the twenty minute time and I did keep watch over it starting at 15 minutes.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Jiffy Cornbread Cake

A box of Jiffy brand cornbread mixed with a Jiffy yellow cake mix, slightly tweaked, is baking in my oven right now and my house smells delicious! I can't wait to have some.

I think I'll try making it into pancakes if this is good.

My snack of oven fried zuchinni with bread crumb/parmasan cheese crust was very satisfying.
Spraying the zuchinni strips with PAM oil after shaking them in the crumb/cheese mixture helps "fry" them and give them a little crispiness. Yumm-O!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Blog Lingo

Blogger Lingo List:
in no particular order:

web log/blog


Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Green Trend

Saving the earth has been on the universal list of things to do for quite some time now. These days the sense of urgency seems media driven more than science driven. I don't know.

I do know that I've been doing my own personal part for many years. I've been taught to see earth as a gift to appreciate and take care of. It's a principal I follow with other life issues such as taking care of my health or maintaining my car.
Yet, it's not possible to completely erase my "carbon" footprint and I'm not sure I want to.
I do exist. Elle WAS here!
But, I do not want to waste or miss the opportunity to do good period!
Then I say who gets to define what is good? Or, contextually speaking, good for the planet?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

elle's short list of ways to recycle plastic bags

1. Bathroom garbage bins are usually the right size for a grocery store plastic bag and at times I will reuse it more than once. Just empty and put back.

2. Most grocers have bins and boxes at the front of the store to bring your plastic bags for them to recycle. I assume into more bags? Hmmm...note to self...research bag recycling.

3. Reusing plastic bags as lunch bags makes good green sense. It is reuseable for a long time and will hold everything you need.

4. Smaller plastic bags such as sandwich bags and freezer bags are easily reused unless they were used to store uncooked meats. If the zipper wears out, use a twist tie.

I don't own the trendy new "I'm not a plastic bag" bag but I'm thinking of using a canvas bag I bought in the craft section of Walmart to personalize as my "green bag" bag using peramnant markers, etc..,

Buy New Harry Potter Release or Borrow a Copy?

I did pre-order the new Potter book but then a certain company had a computer hacked and compromised all stored credit card information and my credit card company (and lots of others) had to create new accounts and this canceled out my order. I just didn't bother to re-order my pre-order. Maybe I will borrow the CD I'm sure my son will buy but my favorite thing to do is to read the written word. No worries about volume control or reversing or forwarding. No batteries to fail. Just me and my book. Manual recreation.

Maybe my local library will order more than one copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Monday, July 9, 2007

To apostrophe or not?

I think "elle's" is correct but I refuse to worry about it past this period.
Well, one more thing...my singular, possessive noun (which is myself) is literally my meaning. This is my green earth and I like it here.