Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Colorado Springs...

I am sure you all don't live under a rock and know how horrible the Waldo Canyon Fire is and is rapidly becoming even today. Its down to 5% contained, its IN the city of the Springs at the moment and is still growing (doubled again overnight). So far they have evacuated 32,000 people with 0 fatalities which is a massive miracle and a blessing all in one! 

Other Chef's Brother is stationed at Ft Carson and we have had contact so I didn't worry too much about him. He lives near the AF Academy and he said that he was fine, it wasn't near him, etc etc. Then this picture came out...

Taken from the Academy's Commissary Parking Lot...
After finally getting ahold of him, he's alright. Evacuating but is okay. Two of his teammates have already lost their homes. But he's okay. And thank god for that. 

Another girl I know, Lora, was supposed to be PCSing this week. She's worried sick that she might lose her home now with all her furniture in it. She has packed up what she can and is staying with a friend but the worry is still there. Please massive prayers for her and her 5 children.

Little Man's godmother Heather is the other one I know in the Springs. She is 100% okay as she lives nowhere near it. But like many of us, she has a lot of friends affected. Not only that but I share her sentiment in losing her city. Colorado Springs is absolutely breathtaking and is being destroyed with no end in sight at the moment. 

This is terrible. 

Please send lots of prayers to the Springs today. They need it desperately. I just hope and pray that some good news comes out of there today. They have massive thunderstorms headed there today and they are worried about that affecting their ability to tame it. 

Fire really does have a mind of its own huh? 

Monday, June 25, 2012

BluApple Review and Giveaway!!

One of the biggest part about getting healthy is more fruits and vegetables. That is a given right? 

If you are anything like me though, you end up throwing a lot of in the garbage. And that just makes me angry. The commissary is lacking in the fresh produce department (hence why I get it off base now) but until I finally just bit the bullet and found other places, I was tossing a lot of my monies down the drain. Or it wasn't even that it was going bad too fast, it was that we weren't eating it quick enough. Until I started cooking like all.the.time I would buy fruits and again, half of it would go bad. Bad on my end. Bad on that end. I had a very love/hate relationship when it came to my produce! 

I saw BluApple's product on another friend's blog. She raved about it. She loves it! So I contacted the company, kinda skeptical at first, and asked if I could try it out for me and for you guys. Jessica emailed me back instantly and was happy to oblige! 

And you know what? It LITERALLY works! I have two of them, one in each of my produce drawers, and I HAVE seen a difference in the longevity and freshness of my produce! 

Here's how it works:

Ethylene gas is given off by all living plants, especially by fruits, vegetables and flowers, and acts as a chemical signal to speed up the ripening process.  The release of this gas is thought to be a mechanism by which plants promote uniform ripening or opening, etc.   In nature, the uniformity of these events attracts the maximum number of pollinators or seed disseminators, such as birds and insects. At home, however, when you store your fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, ethylene gas builds up. As a result the ripening process is accelerated too quickly.   This is a major reason we all throw out so much spoiled produce!

The Bluapple is based on technology that has been used in ships, warehouses and trucks for many years to absorb and neutralize ethylene gas buildup.  The Bluapple does not release any gas or chemical, but only absorbs, constantly removing this harmful gas from your produce storage area.  The Bluapple is not a "magic" pill, but a scientific and essential part of keeping produce fresh.   When produce was cheap, no one cared, but as prices have risen, it became apparent that a very beneficial product for the home could make a huge difference.

There are three key elements to long produce life: a) temperature - keeping produce cold; b) humidity - using vented plastic bags to keep a moist, but not wet environment; c) ethylene gas management - using the Bluapple.  Disruption of any one of these elements will cause premature spoilage.

It may interest you to know that they provide a money back guarantee, which they are proud to honor.  After selling many hundreds of thousands of Bluapples, they have processed only about 20 refund requests, to each of whom Jessica has written a letter.

The Bluapple is a proven, science-based technology that we have adapted for use in the home.  With a single gourmet apple costing $1.25 these days, our produce is an investment worth protecting.  It is their view that the Bluapple is essentially FREE.  Users easily recover the purchase price in savings within a few weeks, and the Bluapple continues to deliver value for many months thereafter.

My cute money saving BluApple! 
Now how do you start saving? Here's how! 

1. Follow my blog and comment below that you do! (Mandatory!)
2. Like BluApple's FB Page and give them some loving! Comment below that you did :D (mandatory!)
3. Share giveaway on FB, Blog and/or Twitter, one comment for each sharing please (up to 3 entries available!)

That's it! There is a possible 5 chances for you to win!!! 

Giveaway will end on Monday July 9th at 9AM. 

Good luck!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Some things in the news....

So I am not political nor do am I really religious. I don't attend Mass regularly like I should (I really need to go but I just haven't and I keep saying each week that I will...yeah its not really happening) but I do have faith. I do know there is a greater power (or rather I choose to believe that). There are crucifixes hanging in my house. My children will go through Holy Communion and Confirmation. In fact, I am having both of them baptized in November.

That being said...something in the news today has really...bothered me. I normally don't get involved with Obama politics because really, I don't like him. And lately I think he's been making a ton of comments because he wants to gain his votes. Period. BUT that doesn't make him a bad man, it makes him a politician. I get that.

But today...yeah. 

Today it was ordered that all military Bibles can NOT be sold on bases anymore. Period. End of story. Why? Because of some stupid atheist group. NOW not everyone who doesn't believe in something is stupid, no. Nor does this one group of people encompass all of the atheists in this country. But this group that is fighting for what? Something that is easily ignored like I ignore the people who rant about there NOT being a God? What I have to say to them is simply this...given how much more crap our country has to worry about, if this ONE THING stands out in your mind then I wish I was walking around with your blinders on. I really do.

And what kills me is that the same people, our political heads, who ordered this to happen are the SAME political heads who are passing and making bills based on THEIR religious views. Um what? How hypocritical can you be?!? 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vita Coco Coconut Water WINNER

My lack of posting has nothing to blame on except being super uber busy, nesting like you wouldn't believe and being sucked into book #3 of the Song of Ice and Fire series (which I just finished today!!). I will update the blog tomorrow when I have more time!! 

In the meantime, its time for the Vita Coco Coconut Water giveaway winner. 

The winner is....

Jenn's Adventures!!! 

Congrats to the winner and stick around everyone! I have more giveaways lined up :D 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tuesday Tunes

Random song on my iTunes but it always makes me wanna dance!! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

5 Month Pregnancy Update

So I am 23 weeks on Friday. Nearing the end of my 2nd trimester faster then I can imagine. I don't remember it flying by this fast with Little Man. Course when I look like this:

Hard to not wish it would hurry up and be October! Little Miss is incredibly active lately. And I really do think she's going to be long as all get out. She is already kicking high in my ribs and she most defiantly already has a sleep pattern. Like right now shes quiet but just half an hour ago she was kicking and rolling up a storm. 

I feel amazing. Except for this heartburn. They put me on Zantac because it's so bad (like they did with Little Man) and even that is not working. She better come out with a full head of jet black hair cause man oh man, this is killing me!

I am going with this bedding for her nursery:

And I absolutely LOVE it but I am worried that I won't continue to love it. So I have been trying to find a more girlie set. Yeah..not working. Everything that I want to get is either browns, cremes or greens. Nothing is crazy and over the top pink or lavender. And it seems that is ALL that is out there nowadays for girls. That is immensely cute for clothes. But for everyday stuff? Nah. I would hate it. Something so non significant to worry about and it has me all sorts of worried. Nice huh? 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Not exactly the healthiest...

While this recipe is NOT the healthiest (so if you thought I was always a  healthy eats blog, you might as well turn around RIGHT now!! :-P) but its a family favorite. It is courtesy of my Aunt J. She is always cooking some delicious eats, and its always being shoved down my throat when I manage to go home! My favorite thing that they make is my Uncle's famous venison jerky. Oh man. I know she reads this too so this is me dropping MASSIVE hints that I should get a care package of some this year ;-D

This recipe really doesn't have a name except Hanky Pankys. And it's been called that for as long as I can remember. Its served at all the New Years Partys, birthdays, really any big family get together we had. This and her AMAZING taco salad which I will be making here soon! Its very quick, its very easy and it takes a grand total of three ingredients. Yup, three. I made them the other night as a dinner just because it was one of those busy days and didn't feel like coming home and cooking a big meal. Yeah let's just say that there were maybe 3 left over out of the three cookie sheets I made.

Recipe after the pictures! 


Hanky Panky's

What you need: 

1 small block of velvetta per 1 container of Jimmy Dean Sausage (I use the 1lb per 1 container of the breakfast sausage)
1 sleeve of pumpernickel bread (again, depends on how many you are cooking for!)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Fry up the Jimmy Dean Sausage and then drain meat
3. Slice up the veletta and melt cheese over sausage. 
4. Spoon some of the meat/cheese combination onto a slice of the bread. Arrange on cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 10 minutes. Depending on your oven, you have to keep an eye on it. You want the bread to get a crisp yet chewy taste in the center. You don't want it so hard that you are biting into a brick because then you will be hating life.


What's for dinner? Tonight I am trying out a new recipe...Crockpot Beef Stroganoff over steamed rice. Should be tasty! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Little Girl Clothes...

So when it comes to kids clothes, baby boy clothes (IMO) are cute to a certain point. But once they hit that toddler stage its all the same stuff. Polos, khaki shorts, jeans, button downs, Bermuda shorts, tshirts. They very much look like little men. So buying clothes for Little Man is quite easy. It really is. I mostly shop at Children's Place or Old Navy for him because like I said..little man clothing. 

Then I found out I was having a girl.

And bad.

I never really looked at little girl clothing before because I didn't have one. I have bought a couple friends some outfits for their girls but nothing crazy. Then when I got pregnant with this one, I just knew it was a girl. I was drawn to the girl clothing. I was drawn to the cute dresses and the crochet hats with the big ole flower on the side:

Like are you for real?? HOW FREAKING CUTE!!! 

Then you have stores like Carters and Gymboree. OH...WOW. I think my only saving grace right now is that all the stores have their summer stuff out and I can't buy that stuff right now. I am in the market for fall/winter so I have a couple more months until I am like OMFG! 

Course that doesn't stop me from buying these: (Yes had to share cause look how freaking cute!!!)

The onesie....

The bottoms that matches it (also comes with a short sleeve onesie that says "Daddy's Girl"

Outfits I bought the day I found out she was a girl.
 Yeah...I'm in trouble.....

Friday, June 08, 2012

Summer Shish Kabobs

One of the best things about the summer is grilling. I am a firm believer in that and no one will be able to tell me differently! There is just something about the smell of the grill fired up, the food cooking, the BBQs you have and how BBQs always bring out the best in everyone! No matter what kind of day you are having...BBQs are a definite mood changer :D

Course this could just be my fat pregnant ass talking but psh, whatever!

I haven't had these in so long (about 3 years now) and I have been craving some delicious shish kabobs. There is always two different meats, steak and chicken. And of course any type of vegetables you want to add! Ours include green, red and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and whole mushrooms (with the stems taken off). Put them on the skewers and then rub them down with some olive oil. Add salt and pepper and that is IT. The flavor of the vegetables is all you need :D

Is your mouth watering? Cause mine is again! 

Apparently in one of the many moves I have undertaken, the skewers have become amiss. So we had too much food and not enough skewers. So instead of just reusing the ones we had already used, we made stir fry! OMG, nom. That recipe I can't give you because I have NO idea what was put in it (I didn't make it as I was getting homework done) but next time, I WILL get it for you! 

Completely filling! Pair it with some couscous or wild rice and there you go! Quick. Easy. Delicious and SO healthy!!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The problem with trying new recipes....

I love trying new recipes. I really do. That's the entire reason this blog was started. I am not a good "experimental" cook. Nor do things come to me easily. Like no joke, I just started adding spices (besides garlic and onions) to my ground beef when I cook it. I am not joking when I say that I am a SUPER cooking nubsauce. So when I cook, unless its something I have cooked a hundred times before or something quick throw together...its a recipe. Let's face it, cooking the same things all the time is just downright boring. And I try to limit that. We have no set rotation. I have no set menu each week (other then what I make). Honestly, every two weeks its 90% brand new stuff. Which is awesome in this house but not so awesome for picky eaters (ahem, Little Man!). 

Trying new recipes, however, can come at a cost. And sometimes, it does. You will find some amazing dinners and then other times you will be like Umm...anyone for takeout? I get my recipes from all over the place too. Some of them are blogs I read, some are Pioneer Woman's, some are Pinterest, Tasty Kitchen, Facebook, Taste of Home. And some of them are from those pesky little Pillsbury, Kraft, Jell-O books that are at the check out counter at the grocery store. Yes, I manage to bring home one or two new ones every single I hit up the commissary. Obsession? Slightly. But I call it material. Now only if I got paid for this blog then I would call it a tax deduction :-P

Anyway, I decided to try this Layered Mac 'n Cheese with Beef recipe I found in a Pillsbury book I have. It looked delicious enough so I went with it. Little Man is obsessed with Mac and Cheese. Like if he could eat it breakfast, lunch and dinner...I think he would. I threw it all together, which was very easy by the way. But as I was cooking, I saw the reviews that the recipe had on A lot of people said it was bland so to add an onion and garlic (which I already do) and maybe some spices. So I did that. 


I didn't care for it. In fact, I disliked it so much, I couldn't continue eating it. I hate like half and I was good to go. Little Man had given up long before me so he was just sitting there. Other Chef put Tony Chacere's on it and scarfed it down. Course he's used to eating bland, nasty MRE's so I didn't take his opinion to heart :D 

Verdict: Meh. I mean honestly, if you want to try it, by all means go for it. If you can someone make it taste delicious, let me know and I can try that again! I personally didn't care for it though :( 



 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (8 oz)
 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
 teaspoon salt
 teaspoon pepper
 tablespoons butter or margarine
 tablespoons all-purpose flour
 cups milk
 cup Progresso® chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (12 oz)
 cup soft bread crumbs (about 2 slices bread)


1Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 2-quart casserole with cooking spray. Cook and drain macaroni as directed on package.2Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, cook beef, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain if desired.3In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Stir in milk; cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in broth and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat; stir in cheese. Fold in macaroni.4Spoon 1/3 of the macaroni mixture (about 1 1/3 cups) into casserole; top with half of the beef (about 1 1/2 cups). Layer with another 1/3 of the macaroni mixture, remaining beef and remaining macaroni mixture. Top with bread crumbs.5Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I have never been one for Chicken Salad before. It's not because I haven't had a good recipe, no. Its because I honestly just never tried it and been turned on to it. Which is quite tragic because this is the perfect throw together summer meal. Its light, its delicious. Its AH-MAZING.

 Other Chef throws together some delicious chicken salad that is utterly amazing. No joking. And you should feel special because the recipe is down below :D

Close up of the deliciousness.

Nom Nom Nom

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

What you need: 
4-6 Chicken Breasts
Granny Smith Apples

Now the rest of it is really eyeballing it and to taste.

Tony Chacere's 
Italian Seasoning
Dijon Mustard

What you do!

Boil the chicken breasts. When done, cut into cubes.
Next add all the seasonings (including mayo), taste. Everything will be to your personal taste! 
Then add the grapes and apples and almonds.
Add into a whole wheat PITA (I prefer the soft ones like shown).
Bite into that and SAVOR the flavor :D

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Tuesday's Tunes

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Vita Coco Review and Giveaway!!

I first saw Vita Coco at our local Costco a couple months ago. When I was pregnant with Little Man, I used to get HORRIBLE charley horses in my legs. Like it would wake me up from a dead sleep in horrible pain because of them. Well as your athletes (and mothers) know, its because of not enough water and potassium. Yeah I was guilty on all parts! They advertise that their product is an EXCELLENT source of potassium and also hydration. Score on all parts right? (It actually says on the side of their containers...Contains more potassium then a banana but don't tell the monkeys that!) So of course I bought a couple of them to try at home. Up to this point, I have never had a drop of coconut water. Nor am I big fan of coconut period so I was kinda skeptical I would even like it.

Yeah..I was hooked.

Then I saw that an awesome blog I read, Running Diva Mom, was doing a giveaway for Vita Coco. I entered thinking that I wouldn't win cause I don't win that often on pretty much anything BUT...

I did!! (This is actually missing three containers as I have been drinking them like crazy!) 

Their pineapple flavor is so delicious. Like its crazy how delicious it is. And I drink it SUPER cold. I put a container in the freezer about 15-20 minutes before I drink it and its like drinking a slushie. Anything warmer then that and I can't drink it at all. The coconut flavor isn't very strong at all and that is what hooked me on it. Its seriously like thinking pineapple juice IMO. 

I am so in love with this stuff I contacted them about giving YOU all a chance to win a case of your own! They were more then happy to oblige so here is your chance!! 

The Prize: 1 case of 500ml bottles of one of three flavor choices: Pineapple, Peach/Mango or Acai Pomegranate.

How do you win??? 

Separate comments for each thing you do please!!

1. Become a follower OR are a follower of The Pioneer Apron (Comment below)
2. Like Vita Coco's FB page and give them some loving! Comment below that you did!
3. Tell me below which flavor you want to try out!! 
4. Share this giveaway via blog, Twitter or Facebook page. One comment for each one you do! 

So you have a possible chance at 5 entries to win your very own case! 

Giveaway will end on June 18th and will close at 9am. I will post winner sometime that day! 

Good luck to you!!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Quick Update on the Baby....

We found out Thursday morning that we are going to be welcome a baby...


I KNEW it was a girl!! And I am so excited to be able to welcome a little Princess into my life. She was showing off for the camera so she is already a little ham. Arms were over her face, she was stretching, rolling, had her arm over her chin, legs were all over the place, she was chasing the doppler with kicks while the Tech tried to get pictures. The cutest, and by far the coolest, thing I saw was her yawning. Big ole yawn while looking right at the doppler. I'm head over heels in love already and I can't wait to meet her!!! They said everything is looking extremely healthy which is a HUGE difference since at our big ultrasound with Little Man, we were told that he might have Downs Syndrome. And apparently she is really really long for her gestational age. She said that her height was in the 75th percentile already. Thinking we don't need NB clothes like we did with Little Man!  (She must know I am talking about her because I just got the first good morning kicks!)

Here she is....

Profile shot with her hand over her head.

I'll post again once I get home. I was nominated for a blog award and will be doing the same thing for my fellow readers! Also need to set up that awesome giveaway from Coco Vita!!! 
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