Monthly Archives: November 2013

How to Save a Turkey for Thanksgiving

Adopt A TurkeyRecently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she had adopted a turkey. Intrigued, I followed the link and stumbled upon something that will now be a Thanksgiving tradition in our household.

Farm Sanctuary, with three locations nationwide, runs an “Adopt a Turkey” program every year to enable people to sponsor turkeys in the organization’s shelters. You get a certificate of adoption, info about your turkey, and all manner of fuzzy feelings in return.

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DIY Lemon-Eucalyptus Dishwasher Detergent… aka THE SAGA

august_13 091One of the first things we wanted to tackle when we started to de-toxify our home was dishwasher detergent. It’s the item we’re most likely to consume, we use it every single day, and the list of ingredients on most brands is filled with things I cannot pronounce.

“How hard can it be?” we thought. And therein lies what has probably been the greatest saga in our household toward finding a green, chemical-free solution that works as well as the brands we were trying to replace.

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Black Olive and Spinach Calzones with Homemade Ricotta Cheese + Jalapeno Basil Walnut Pesto

blog_111913 018It’s sort of difficult, the first time you make homemade ricotta cheese, not to simply devour it all before you’ve actually had a chance to use it in any sort of productive way. (And that’s ok! Have at it. It’s lovely with a bit of honey, smeared over a bagel with some homemade jam… you really can’t go wrong however you want to enjoy it.)

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Homemade Ricotta Cheese (the Delicious Made Possible!)

blog_111913 013The shift from “What should I buy?” to “What can I make?” has been, for me, a slow but subtle one. It’s almost like learning  a new habit and then practicing it – over and over (and over) – until it becomes unconsciously ingrained into the sometimes automatic process of consumption and acquisition.

Being more mindful of what I use, buy, consume, etc. has helped tremendously… as have resources that abound nowadays focusing on sustainability, self-sufficiency, and frugal living.

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DIY Foaming Hand Soap: Natural Peppermint-Lavender-Lemon Foaming Hand Soap

foaming_hand_soap3I don’t know why I never questioned whether or not I could make hand soap. I suppose because I thought soap-making was too difficult and that the products out there that are labeled “green” were adequately safe.

After scouring through EWG’s Skin Deep database, I decided it was going to be cheaper, safer, and better for the planet for me to make my own. Nice that all those things happened to align!

This recipe is so simple and effective, I will never go back to buying hand soap again. Truly never. It’s softer than the store-bought brands, smells amazing, and is quick and painless to throw together.

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Raspberry Rosemary Lemon Refrigerator or Freezer Jam

Raspberry Rosemary Lemon JamEarly on in my quest to go greener… my mother sent me several links to refrigerator and freezer jams (they are the same thing, just stored different ways). Apparently, my Aunt Lula used to make them all the time – and my mother thought I would enjoy learning the process.

In our DIY-fervor, Andy and I planted LOTS of fruit this year in the hopes we can eventually use our own garden to cover most of our fruit-eating (particularly in the summer). Among the many new plantings in our garden are three different raspberry varieties (purple, red, and yellow).

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Go Meatless and Save Money: 9 Essential Vegetarian + Vegan Cookbooks

Mango Eggplant Lentil SaladOne of the best reasons in the world to go meatless at least one day a week is because it saves you so much money! Meat prices seem to have sky-rocketed lately… and if you want to eat organic, local, grass-fed, or the like – you’re paying  a pretty penny for the privilege of noshing on animal protein.

I am a firm believer that everyone has to figure out how their body wants to eat. We aren’t all made the same, and I do not advocate for a one-size-fits all diet. So I suggest going meatless now and then more as a money-saving, Earth-stewardship, eco-friendly, mindful-consumption sort of option. It just makes common sense – on multiple fronts – and with the right tools can be entirely painless… one might even say surprisingly enjoyable.

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