Sunday, June 29, 2008

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pancakes

After several weekends away, we are home on a Sunday to enjoy homemade pancakes.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 4 Tbsp. warm water (or 2 eggs)
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla

In a bowl, combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and brown sugar. In another bowl, combine egg replacer mix, soy milk, and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients. Pour 2 Tbsp. of batter onto griddle preheated to 350 and cook until batter bubbles and pancakes begin to brown around edges. Flip and cook 2 minutes more. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Adopt A Shelter Cat Month

Since June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, we did our part to help and adopted a wonderful cat from the local animal shelter. Our family cat recently passed away and we were missing the cuddles and purrs that a cat brings to your life. When we first visited the shelter, we were disheartened to see the large number of animals that have ended up without homes. After speaking to a wonderful volunteer we agreed to foster 4 precious kittens until they could be offered for adoption. This was a wonderful experience for our family. When we returned the kittens to the shelter, our family fell in love with an adorable and friendly 8 month old kitten named Shane. Shane had been at the shelter for 3 months and time was running out for him. He is adapting well to our home and is so sweet and loves to cuddle. He is a wonderful addition to our family and is happy to have found his forever home. So please remember - the next time you decide to add a pet to your family, check the local shelter first. If you are unable to adopt a pet you can help the shelter out by fostering animals short term, spaying or neutering your pet, donating food, volunteering your time, or donating money.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Citrus Blueberry Pancakes

Today for Father's Day we used fresh blueberries - my husband's favorite in our pancakes and added a fresh twist with citrus juice.

Citrus Blueberry Pancakes

1/2 cup organic unbleached flour
1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. evaporated cane juice
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 Tbsp. warm water
3/4 cup soy milk
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. orange juice
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Combine flours, salt, sugar, and baking powder in bowl. Whisk egg replacer powder and warm water together; add milk, oil,lemon juice and orange juice. Slowly stir liquid mixture into dry ingredients and mix completely. Pour 2 Tbsp. of batter onto griddle preheated to 350, sprinkle with blueberries and cook until batter bubbles and pancakes begin to brown around edges. Flip and cook 2 minutes more. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Conserving Gas

As gas prices continue to climb, people are looking for ways to reduce their gas consumption. A positive aspect of high gas prices is that as people reduce their gas use they are also reducing their carbon footprint. This means that by looking for ways to stretch their gas budget, people that don't consider themselves "green" may actually be living a greener life.
Here are some ideas to help you out:

1. Ride your bike to work. By riding your bike you will save money while improving your health and depending on where you live - you may even get to work faster. In this year's Great NYC Commuter Race, which is a race between a bike, a car, and the subway to see which is the fastest commute - the biker won again.

2. Carpool. Carpooling reduces the number of cars on the road and splitting the ride and it's cost saves you money.

3. Plan your errands better. Plan your trips to include all your errands in that part of town instead of driving all over town several times a day.

4. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Properly inflated tires improve gas mileage by about 3%, and save up to 7 cents per gallon.

5. For short trips, walk instead of driving.

In an effort to reduce our gas consumption, my family is using all the above tips. Our two big changes, my husband is biking the short distance to his work and since I work farther away and am typically traveling with my 8 year old daughter - I am carpooling.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Green & Frugal

Going green can also save you some green - as in money! While some green products may cost more, some green choices are definite money-saving ideas as well. One star of the frugal lifestyle, Amy Dacyczyn, author of the Tightwad Gazette says, "I realized that economy and ecology are like two circles that overlap about 90%. The remaining 10% is the area where doing the right thing for the environment costs more...but having successfully blended the areas of economy and ecology in the 90% area, we have found that we now have some surplus money, and this surplus gives us economic room to reexamine some of the areas within the 10%."

For some of Amy's great money saving ideas, check your local library for her book - Tightwad Gazette. Now when I do the following things I can just say I'm eco-friendly, which sounds better than cheap:

1. Reuse all paper that enters your house & then recycle it. I don't need to purchase any paper for notes, I reuse all the paper that comes in the house by cutting it in forths and using the backs for notes and grocery lists which I then recycle in our paper bin. We also use the backs of envelopes that bills and stuff come in.

2. Make items from scratch - the basics like flour, sugar, eggs, baking soda, etc. are cheaper to purchase and are healthy than most prepared foods.

3. Eat seasonally. When fruits & veggies are on sale it's because they are in season and aren't grown in far off tropical locations. You will save money and will reduce the carbon footprint of your diet.

4. Use your local library. Today's libraries are a great source for best sellers, movies, books on tape, afterschool programs, etc.

5. Make sun tea. Put 6 tea bags in a gallon jug of water and set it in the sun for several hours. You get great tasting tea using the energy from the sun.

6. Make your own cleaners from items in your pantry. You can make antibacterial cleaners, toilet cleaners, glass cleaner, and laundry detergent that is safer and cheaper than what you can buy in the store.

7. Eliminate all disposables. Purchasing paper towels, paper napkins, paper plates, plastic cutlery, plastic cups, and other one time use items can add a lot to your grocery bill and to our landfills.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Planet Green Launches Today at 6pm!!

After months of anticipation, today's finally the day - the launch of the new green network Planet Green! Planet Green will be the first and only 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network. Planet Green is taking the place of Discovery Home and will reach 50 million homes with more than 250 hours of original green lifestyle programming. Some shows on the channel have already aired like Wasted - a show that teaches families how they can save money while reducing their ecological footprint and Living With Ed - which chronicles the life of superstar and eco-activist Ed Begley Jr. New shows for the channel include Renovation Nation, Greenovate, Hollywood Green, G Word, and Stuff Happens. Renovation Nation and Greenovate will profile green remodeling & renovation projects. Stuff Happens stars Bill Nye, The Science Guy and will profile how the stuff we eat, wear, and use is made and should be an interesting show for the whole family. Be sure to set your DVR to catch up on all the lastest in green products and ideas!