Saturday, March 26, 2011

What We're Celebrating...

We celebrated Earth Hour today. We turned off all the lights and "screens" and went outside for a family night hike around our block. We took flashlights but didn't need them; our homeowner's association didn't participate in Earth Hour so the street lights were all blazing. I was a little loopy (low blood sugar) and DH and the kids started cutting up; I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt!

Once we got home I tried to start a fire in our outdoor fire pit but it was major fail. I used Girl Scout fire starters but didn't place them well so they eventually burned out without catching the wood. DH, pyromaniac that he is, gave it a try and was a lot more successful. The Wild Child was delighted! (He takes after his dad in the pyromaniac department.) He insisted on making popcorn in our over-the-fire popcorn popper which, in spite of predictions of doom, turned out perfectly. We never got around to toasting our vegan marshmallows; maybe next time.

I have conflicting thoughts about the fire. We weren't using any fossil fuels for it, and with the Girl Scout fire starters we weren't using any lighter fluids, either, but we were still contributing to global warming. Did we offset any good we did by turning out the lights for an hour? I don't know, but I do know I have a new basis for talking with the kids about turning the lights out when we leave a room.

There's something so comforting and primal (and smelly) about a good fire, though. We light up maybe 3 or 4 times a year so hopefully we didn't increase our carbon footprint too much! Plus we're doing a lot to reduce our carbon footprint by going veg all day, every day.

What We're Eating...

Speaking of going veg, we had great vegan sandwiches for dinner. There's a restaurant in our area that serves a vegan sandwich we enjoy so we recreated it tonight for dinner. It's basically a whole wheat baguette with hummus, sprouts, shredded carrot, cucumber slices, tomato slices, and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. DH added some fresh spinach and I put some avocado on mine. DELISH!! Quick and easy, too, especially since we make the hummus from a mix sold in the bulk food aisle at Whole Foods. (Yes, a processed mix which I normally try to avoid, but it turns out better than any of the recipes from scratch that I've tried, plus it's quick and doesn't dirty up the food processor.) (Not that I haven't gotten some really good hummus recipes from friends, but I can't get my hummus to turn out the way their hummus does even with the same recipe, dang it.)

And speaking of processed food, we also used a regular baguette from the frozen foods section at Costco that you heat up before using. (I love the whole wheat baguettes but they are all made with soy so I have to avoid them now.) :( Oh, how I love bread! Totally, helplessly, hopelessly addicted, I admit it. It's a shame 90% of it has soy, and the 10% that doesn't is the unhealthy white variety. I keep meaning to make my own but I never seem to find the time. (Plus I'd eat it ALL if it was coming out of the oven fresh and steamy- can't let that go to waist... waste.) So the frozen stuff was quite a find! I was buying the baguettes from the store bakery but I shop so late in the day that they would rarely have any in stock; this is our solution, so now we can have our vegan sandwiches, our tomato basil sandwiches, goat cheese with walnuts and honey toasted sandwiches, and portobello mushroom cheese "steak" sandwiches whenever we want them. Yummy!!

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