Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year...New Things

Since this is a new year, we're welcoming many new things into our lives. I am excited to announce the birth of a new blog. My in-real-life and bloggy friends, the wonderful CK and the amazing Fancy Pantsy are co-hosting a blog dedicated to green awareness and living green. They will be showcasing products and companies that help us tread lightly on the earth, and the duo will also be giving their personal tips on how to be more environmentally friendly. I can't tell you how excited I am about their new blog. These girls are fun, cool, and simply bursting with stylish new ideas to share. Have I mentioned that they are two of the coolest people I know?

I've been
living green since I was 13. When I was 10, my teacher introduced me to the Minister of the Environment. We talked about the problems of clear cutting, acidic precipitation, as well preserving Clayoquot Sound.

At the ripe age of 10, I had a keen interest in the environment.
My grandparents have been composting all their fruit and veggie scraps since before I was born, and I later adopted that practice. In university, I began vermicomposting. I purchased red wigglers and let them do my composting. The end product was rich, healthy organic matter (fertilizer) for my plants. In college, I was a member of HEAL (Helping Environmental Awareness and Learning). It was a small group of students and one teacher who got together after school on Wednesdays to discuss ways of helping make a difference. Of course, my mother was concerned about all the environmental activism and lobbying. It wasn't a phase, since I continued into university and became a member of the recycling committee there.

With the launching of CK's and Fancy's new blog, how could I not get excited? I am very excited about their new brainchild and would like to share their link with you. Ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you...
Green Is Her New Blog!!!

Speaking of neat new things, CK is also holding a cool contest on her main blog. She blew me away with the amazing job she did on the GIHNB header. We all know that CK is a veritable creative genius. She proves this in her musical performances as well as in her photography, art work and talent with computer design. She never ceases to amaze me. Her new contest can be found here. The winner gets his/her very own icon created by CK. CK created one for Fancy,
since Fancy is the co-host of the new blog. CK also created one for me, since I was asked to guest host every now and then. Thank you, CK! I LOVE my CK icon!
Another thing that is new...
Every New Year's Day, we have dinner at my mother-in-law's. It's usually a repeat of our Christmas menu. This year, my mother-in-law suggested something new. We had a vegetarian potluck to kick off the new year! It was wonderful!

Here's what my contribution to the potluck was:
I made my zucchini pie, a slight adaptation of my Aunt Jo's scrumptious, savoury dish. I've made this dish a zillion times, but I guess I was so distracted with everything going on that I forgot to fold the Parmesan cheese into the batter. I remembered when the pie was in the oven already and I sprinkled the cheese on top. Hubby said it worked well that way too. I still can't believe I almost forgot one of the key ingredients!!!

I also made butternut squash and green beans. This is a very delicious, colourful, healthy dish. All the veggies used in these two dishes are from our garden. I harvest them when it's time for picking and then prepare and freeze them for future use. This way, I have veggies throughout the year.

You will need: 1 butternut squash, 2 c green beans (in halves), 1 onion (sliced, but not too thinly), oil (vegetable, olive, canola...whatever you prefer. I use olive oil and just a little bit of it for cooking), salt, black pepper. (My Dad doesn't use oil, but he cooks up tiny slices of bacon and then adds the rest of his ingredients)

First, slice the butternut squash into two halves and bake in the oven (cut side facing down) at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until soft-ish. You don't want it crunchy, but you don't want it mushy either.

Once cooked, peel off the skin and cut squash into cubes. In a large pan or wok, add oil, sautee onions over medium or medium-high heat, and cook the squash and beans together with the sauteed onion. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Enjoy!


Hubby said...

Everyone needs to go a little bit green in some way. Sometimes green is the cheaper and easier way to go. If we go a little greener every day, the world will soon be a better place. Think globally, act locally.

C. K. said...

Aww, Chrissy - the post is just wonderful. I agree with your hubby - sometimes going green is just a more economical and healthier solution, not just some blown up ethical reason to make an effort of choice...

p.s. how about a CK icon for your hubby? Leave me a comment on my page to remind me.

CK out. :)

C said...

How right you are! :) Smoochies!

Oh, wow! That would be neat! I'm trying to get Hubby to co-host this blog with me instead of just lurking :)

t said...

YOU are too cool! And don't get mad when people call you a "friggen tree hugger"! Haters. And John should start blogging too!

mrsmogul said...

that's great! We are all going green! Well almost, I try my least I dont eat meat anymore!

PinksandBluesGirls said...

What a great new blog! We are actually coming up with a green guide ourselves over at P&B so we'll definitely publicize their blog!

I love your new icon, too!

On another note... how cute is your hubby!? Can I take him home!?

Happy New Year, C!


hotmommy said...

thanks for the recipes! thanks for the post too, i have to admit that we can be doing less wasting in our house/ i am guilty of buying boxed and frozen everything though since i don't have time to cook. bad isn't it? homemade from a box.

C said...

*sigh* It's hard to find a balance between being concerned with the environment and being a total activist. I mean, there are so many issues on both sides to consider. Some people accuse "tree huggers" of not knowing all the info before acting. Take for example, the cormorant issue up here on the Island. The cormorants are eating off much of the fish in the Great Lakes. People from the city who are concerned about animal rights are trying to protect the cormorants. Meanwhile, the cormorants are wiping out so much of the fish population. Same goes for the deer situation. Many people (me included) don't like the idea of hunting or killing deer. However, the deer population is so large, that it needs to be controlled somehow. Do we let Mother Nature control the deer population? If we let the deer multiply without any sort of control, we'd get more wolves preying on the animals. There would be more mange and other diseases in the deer population, and the deer would do terrible damage to all the farmers' crops. I know that many have problems with deer eating their plants and crops.

It really is difficult to try to do the right thing. Many times, I think I know what the right thing is, and then I see there are many sides to the same issue.

Again, it's like the whole disposable plates and cutlery at restaurants. Is it better to use proper dishes and wash them or have disposable dishes that fill landfills? By washing all the dishes at a restaurant, we are consuming lots of water resources. By dumping garbage, we are filling up landfill space.

I don't know what the right answers are, but I try to do my best to tread as lightly on the earth as possible.

Wow! Didn't think I'd write you such a long reply, did you? LOL! :)

C said...

I think it's great that you guys are vegetarian :) How long have you guys been off meat?

That is so cool! Looking forward to checking out your new green guide! Hugs! xo

Hot Mommy:
:) Actually, most of the things I make can be done fairly quickly. The zucchini pie takes like 5 mins to prep and then stick it in the oven for 50-60 min. I also have some very quick meals if you've only got less than 30 mins to get supper on the table.

Cherry said...

Aren't the simple recipes the best?
Plus you growing your own veggies makes it extra special and tasty!

Thanks for letting us know about CK and Fansy Panty's new blog! Just came back from visiting them and it all looks great so far! Great idea!

hotmommy said...

chris i forgot to tell you that it's amazing that your icon really looks like y0u! well done ck!

Fancy said...

I love your Icon! You definately have a lot to teach C.K. and I about being green!!! I cannot wait for some Green in the Country posts from you!!!

Diesel said...

Happy New Year, Chrissy!

japanmanpete said...

Bloody hell! You never told me you were an enviro-freak! That's brilliant, mate!


cara said...


C said...

Thank you for letting me know what those dishes are called! Oh, jeez! Now I'm in the mood for dim sum! LOL!

Hot Mommy:
Thank you! I love it too! CK did an excellent job! The one she did for herself really looks like her! It's unreal!

That's cute! Green in the Country! I can't wait read more of your posts on the new blog! Very cool!

C said...

Happy New Year to you too!

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone! ;)

Thanks for popping by! It's been a while! Happy New Year and hope 2008 is a great one!

Karen MEG said...

LOVE the new blog...kudos to you for publicizing it, and CK, as usual, a true artiste... what a great job she's done on your icon and that of FancyPantsy - bang on!
I do my share, but I could probably do better. One thing though, I find now that we have "wet recycling" I automatically sort everything even if I'm out. I feel like a garbage picker sometimes LOL!
We rarely have any garbage anymore, it's mostly recycling, so that's a good thing.

Karen MEG said...

LOVE the new blog...kudos to you for publicizing it, and CK, as usual, a true artiste... what a great job she's done on your icon and that of FancyPantsy - bang on!
I do my share, but I could probably do better. One thing though, I find now that we have "wet recycling" I automatically sort everything even if I'm out. I feel like a garbage picker sometimes LOL!
We rarely have any garbage anymore, it's mostly recycling, so that's a good thing.

Jeanna said...

That sounds pretty good, think I'll try it.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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