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Recycling Books aka Altered Books

I love this recycled book art!

Brian Dettmer carves into books revealing the artwork inside, creating complex layered three-dimensional sculptures.

British artist Jonathan Callan creates exquisite walls of art out of vintage/used books. The towering colorful melanges are like abstracted botanical, funghi or cellular shapes.


Have A Green Thanksgiving

Make Thanksgiving your first green meal and help reduce our country's reliance on foreign oil!

"If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That's not gallons, but barrels."
~ Steven L. Hopp, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

This week when shopping for your Thanksgiving meal keep a few things in mind to have a green Thanksgiving.

Buy as much organic food as you possibly can. The original Thanksgiving dinner was made with in-season produce and celebrated the harvest of autumn. Let's keep that tradition alive! Buying only locally grown food is one good way to have an eco-friendly Thanksgiving. Locally grown food is good for your table, your health and the environment. Locally grown food tastes better than food that has to be grown and packaged for maximum shelf life, and it requires less fuel to reach store shelves. Locally grown food also contributes more to your local economy, supporting local farmers as well as local merchants.

Remember the three Rs of conservation: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Reduce the amount of waste you produce by buying only as much as you need and choosing products that come in packaging that can be recycled.

Carry reusable bags when you do your shopping, and use cloth napkins that can be washed and used again.

Recycle paper, and all plastic, glass and aluminum containers. If you don’t already have a compost bin, use your Thanksgiving fruit and vegetable trimmings to start one. The compost will enrich the soil in your garden next spring.


Asian Crockpot Chicken

Crockpot Asian style Chicken

6 whole chicken legs, or 4 chicken breasts (use whatever you have)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
8 oz can tomato sauce

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken in a
slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar,
garlic, and tomato sauce. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover and cook
on LOW about 5 hours or until chicken is tender.



Buy Nothing Christmas 2007

Every year it seems Christmas gets earlier and earlier in the stores. By the time it's actually time to start thinking about Christmas (you know the day AFTER Thanksgiving) I'm sick of it! The true meaning of the holiday has been lost. It is so commercialized. It has become a money game. On the news they talk about how sales are up, compare years in the past, blah blah blah.

My family has decided to take back Christmas and it's meaning this year. We are exchanging gifts that are to be handmade, or garage sale/thriftstore buys. We refuse to go into debt to celebrate this holiday.

I was surfing the internet for a couple of ideas for a couple of people on my list. I googled 'handmade gifts' and found my family is not the only one who feels this way.

According to the "Buy Nothing Christmas" website it takes only a bit of creative thinking to come up with alternatives to excessive consumerism. They list over 50 ideas. Go over and check their site out.

Take the true meaning of Christmas back for you and your family.


A GREEN Fireplace Log?

For those of you who are lucky enough to have a fireplace to snuggle in front of, here's a better log for you! It's an idea that saves trees and utilizes a readily available product headed to the landfill.

Java Log! It's a clean-burning, planet-loving alternative to wood and Duraflame. Made from used coffee grounds collected from coffeehouses across the country (along with some soybean-based wax), the Java Log “burns better than wood, doesn’t have that chemical smell that most fake firelogs have, and is good for the environment,”

According to maker Jarden Home Brands of Muncie, Ind., the Java-Log diverts more than 20 million pounds of old coffee grounds from landfills and gives off a pleasant coffee aroma when it burns. The company also offers the Pine Mountain log, which combines sawdust and vegetable wax to make an all-natural log.

Both are available at www.pinemountainbrands.com, www.java-log.com, or at local Waldbaums or Walgreens stores.


Frugal Living Tip #2 - Grounds For Your Garden

Starbucks Coffee developed “Grounds for Your Garden,” an initiative to reuse coffee grounds, the largest portion of its waste. It’s a year-round program that offers complimentary bags of spent coffee grounds to customers, parks, schools and nurseries for composting. The waste reduction has become a popular way for North American gardeners to enrich their soil. Coffee grounds act as a green material with a carbon-nitrogen (C-N) ratio of 20-1. The grounds are packaged in recycled bags and made available on a first-come, first-served basis to customers.

The program was started nine years ago by a team of store employees who were inspired by the numerous requests for the store’s organic waste. Coffee grounds make up the heaviest portion of the waste in Starbucks stores making the “Grounds for Your Garden” program a significant waste-reduction effort.

Using coffee grounds in the garden is a great way to add organic matter to your soil. Coffee grounds are also a good source of nitrogen for your garden soil. Being naturally acidic in nature, used coffee grounds are wonderful for acid loving plants such as roses, blueberries, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons and even viburnum. Should you want to use coffee grounds in the garden on plants that do not appreciate the acidity, you may need to add a limestone supplement. If you don’t drink coffee very often and there is no Starbucks in your are, you may find coffee grounds at your local coffee shop. Most are more than willing to give you all the coffee grounds your garden can handle.

Don’t add too thick of a pile of coffee grounds or mold may develop. A nice thin layer of coffee grounds around the trunk of the plant is all that is needed. One more added benefit of using coffee grounds in the garden is that earthworms love the used coffee grounds. They will feed on the coffee grounds and in turn aerate and fertilize the soil around your plants. You’ll always enjoy the rewards of using coffee grounds in the garden.


Spice Chart

Beans (dried) cumin, cayenne, chili, parsley, pepper, sage, savory, thyme

Beef basil, bay, chili, cilantro, curry, cumin, garlic, marjoram, mustard, oregano, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme

Breads anise, basil, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, lemon peel, orange peel, oregano, poppy seeds, rosemary, saffron, sage, thyme

Cheese basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chili, chives, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, horseradish, lemon peel, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme

Chicken allspice, basil, bay, cinnamon, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger lemongrass, mustard, paprika, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme

Corn chili, curry, dill, marjoram, parsley, savory, thyme

Eggs basil, chervil, chili, chives, curry, dill, fennel, ginger, lemon peel, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme

Fish anise, basil, bay, cayenne, celery seed, chives, curry, dill fennel, garlic, ginger, lemon peel, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, marjoram

Fruits allspice, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mint

Lamb basil, bay, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, garlic, marjoram, mint, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme

Potatoes basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, poppy seed, rosemary, tarragon, thyme

Salad Dressings basil, celery seed, chives, dill, fennel, garlic, horseradish, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary, saffron, tarragon, thyme

Salads basil, caraway, chives, dill, garlic, lemon peel, lovage, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme

Soups basil, bay, chervil, chili, chives, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, marjoram, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme

Sweets allspice, angelica, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger, lemon peel, mace, nutmeg, mint, orange peel, rosemary

Tomatoes basil, bay , celery seed, cinnamon, chili, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, gumbo file, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme

My Mothers Pumpkin Pie

Pastry for 9-inch pie crust
2 large eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 teaspoons McCormick® Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 1/3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (15 ounces) Libby's pumpkin
1 can (12 ounces) Carnation evaporated milk

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 9-inch pie plate with pie crust.
2. Mix eggs, sugar, spices, and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Stir in pumpkin and gradually add evaporated milk, mixing well. Pour into pie crust.
3. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold. Garnish with whipped cream sprinkled with extra pumpkin pie spice if desired. Store covered in refrigerator.


Aji Columbian Salsa

Aji Salsa

1 medium roma tomato (get rid of the seeds) chopped
8 scallions (green onions) chopped
1 scotch bonnet pepper (ger rid of seeds & vein) diced
huge bunch of cilantro diced (1 cup)
¼ large onion chopped
2 limes sqeezed
1/4c water
pinch of salt

The difference between this and my pico de gallo recipe is mainly the amount of tomatoes.


Frugal Living Tip #1 - Home Remedies

Earache Relief: Pour one cup of white rice into a clean sock. Tie the sock to secure the rice within it. Place into the microwave for sixty seconds. Apply the heated rice-filled sock onto the ear. This creates a moist heat that will ease the pressure by helping the ear to drain the built up fluid. For best results reheat often keeping sock warm.

Grapefruit Soup: for cold'n'flu. Simmer 2 peeled grapefruit with enough water to cover and a pinch of cinnamon, salt & cayenne, until fruit collapses. Stir in 2T honey.

Nasal Spray: Mix one cup of lukewarm water, a half-teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda. Using a bulb syringe, spritz the solution into your nose a few times, then blow your nose