Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Package Color!

*Takes a deep breath*

I've been out and about this summer, at trade shows and working hard on a new package design and product displays for Bluapple®. In doing so, I've neglected to keep up a few things in my life.

Exercise
Getting enough sleep and...
Blogging.

And with that, I am back on track. A few things have happened since May.  Bluapple® now has a new color to add to it's package choice.  Orange!  We think it looks updated and fresh.  It makes me want to eat something picked fresh from the garden this very moment, and then put the left over produce in my refrigerator, nestle it between a Bluapple® and make myself feel healthy.  Eating fresh is so much more enjoyable when my produce stays fresh!

Check out the new orange packaging and go eat something fresh. My suggestion? Berries. It doesn't matter what kind. Summer is amazing when it includes fresh berries.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Time for Summer Fresh Food!

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey's Chocolate Bars. If you are wanting a sugar fix, then this combination might be right up your alley.  It's a good combo. It works.

BUT....what if eating fresh is your thing, eating healthy...yet being completely satisfied.

Tomatoes and Feta Cheese.  De-freakin-licious!
This combination tastes like a sweet and fresh treat, only the calories are low, the fat is low, the good for you, literally, is high, and for me the satisfaction is amazing. Some people take the time to put the tomatoes in the oven and cook them a little, or use the broiler.

I have no patience for such things.  I get home from work and I want to be sitting outside, chatting with my boys about their day, eating summer foods that are quick and easy and take little effort.  I want to spend my time with my kids, not with my cooking pans.  And so, I microwave them.  I slice up the tomatoes, crumble some feta on top, and 60 seconds later, dinner is served.  Well, almost.  Last night we added cooked corn on the cob, fresh strawberries, a green salad and brownies.  I never complain about brownies.

Give them a try.  Eating fresh produce might be the most heavenly thing on earth. If you'd like to follow an actual recipe, I'd give this one a try.

Tomatoes with Feta Cheese


Monday, May 19, 2014

Summer Fruity Drinks

I love having a nice relaxing drink after work.  Especially in the summer.  Why?  Because they are pretty, they are tasty and they are fun to serve.  However, I have kids who want to enjoy a drink just as much as I do; but not a different looking one.  They want one that looks just like mine.  And so, I make theirs first, pour them into their fun glasses and then use my share and add some adult kick to it. The kids love having their drink, and I get to relax and enjoy mine.

Follow the link and try out these fun drinks.  Maybe let the kids help by showing them how to put sugar on the rim of a glass.  Let them add fresh fruit onto a toothpick to add to their drink.  Dinner and drinks with kids CAN be a relaxing and enjoyable time!

Non-Alcoholic Tropical Drinks


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Meditation

Physical health is important. Eating good foods like fruits and vegetables in many varieties is important.  Exercising is important. Sleep is important.  And...sometimes, taking a break from all the is important and focusing on our minds, our inner-selves, is important.

What I mean by that is we all need a break.  Yesterday after work, my husband wanted to run up a canyon near our house.  It is one of our favorite canyon runs.  It takes about an hour and has many small challenges along the way, especially when running instead of walking.  I do it quite often with him, racing along the way and trying to get a better time as the summer passes.  And yesterday, I didn't go.  I passed.  He left and I sat down.  And I did, nothing.

The kids were gone, the house was dark and the cat jumped onto my lap and I sat on my couch and looked into her eyes as I pet her head. I wasn't sleepy or hungry and so for the next 30 minutes, I pet my cat and thought about a few things going on in my life. I thought of happy things, sad things, exciting things and even thought of nothing for a bit. I just pet the cat and breathed in the silence.  And at the end of my experience I felt...revived. I had a few clear ideas come to mind and a new determination to accomplish what I have been putting off.  My body didn't get a work out physically, but it got a calm and quiet rest that brought about an energy that a canyon run couldn't have brought.

And my cat was pretty content as well.

Meditation

Photo

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Real Food Now - Mint

Bluapple keeps all produce fresher longer.  Even herbs.  Do you use herbs?  Do you know how to use herbs?  Do you have a favorite one?  My son does.  And it is mint.  He loves using it in his tea.  And so we buy it quite often, keeping it fresh with our Bluapple in the fridge.

Here is a link that gives a lot of information about mint, ways to use it and how to keep it fresh.  They don't know know about Bluapple...yet.  Absorbing ethylene gas is so easy with Bluapple!  It is inexpensive and effective.  The site says that mint can last up to a week when stored in water.  The mint in our fridge lasts twice that long by simply keeping it cold, moist (we keep it in a container with hole for the air flow) and a Bluapple in the crisper drawer with it.

Check out their website for some great ideas and information on how to eat real food, now.



MINT

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Bluapple Time-lapse Video

We are working on getting different time-lapse videos up for people to see.  Check out this one!  Does the Bluapple work? See for yourself!

video

Visit our youtube channel to see more amazing videos!

The Bluapple YouTube Channel

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Benefits of Volunteering

I have volunteered for many things in my life, in my community...in my own home.  And sometimes after I make that first initial commitment, I feel regret.  I think of all the reasons I shouldn't have done it, how I don't have time, or how they don't really need me and it is a waste of my time.  And then after I complete it, I have such a sense of satisfaction.  It feels good to help out.  This past month I helped with a project that made sandwiches for the homeless.  We made sack lunches and handed them out next to the homeless shelter. It felt good to help, gave me gratitude in my life that I have my family to love and love me back, and inspired me to just be a better, nicer and more helpful person.

There are always places in need of volunteers.  Local schools need people who can help with reading, tutoring, or office work. Rest homes and community senior citizen centers welcome volunteers to help with food, activities and travel.  Some places will require you to get a food handlers permit, or special training. That will take time as well, time that you volunteer.

Teaching kids to volunteer will help give them a sense of community.  It can open new doors of opportunity for them as they  meet new people and network, as well as trying out different jobs and having different experiences, which can help direct them to a path that will bring them fulfillment out of life.  They may discover that they love to work with senior citizens, or children.  Working at an animal shelter might spark a love of animals that might send them down the path of being a veterinarian.  There are many benefits to volunteering and it is okay to recognize that.


Reasons to Volunteer

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Getting Ready for Easter

Do you celebrate Easter? Do you just like bunnies and baby chickens and pastel colors?  I do, but now that my boys are older, they just don't enjoy a cute cut-out sandwich that looks like a bunny like they used to. :)

But we still dye eggs and then hide them. At least they give me that.  When they were younger, we'd have our Easter gift day celebration the day after, because that was when everything was 75% off! I know, I know that sounds cheap, but they understood why and loved it.  They always got tons of candy and we still had a great time.

I still look at different ideas of fun things to do however, because I miss those old days and I still make little promises to myself that I am going to do at least ONE cute Easter thing.  This year it will probably consist of a fun and bright Easter lunch. They like food. A lot. So fresh salads, fresh fruit  and a great dessert seems to be in order.  Maybe you'll find one of the ideas in the link useful, or it will spark something in you.  I think all the ideas are simply adorable.

Easter Ideas

Monday, April 14, 2014

Simply Your Life

I have missed out on things due to laziness. I have missed out on things due to not getting something done on time.  And I have "missed out"on things, due to simplifying my life.  And the third miss is considered a win in my book.

My husband and I have friends that go out almost every weekend dancing, dinner, drinks or a party of some sort.  And I do enjoy going out.  BUT sometimes we skip simply due to simplifying our life.  We don't have to dress up, spend money, leave the kids, get home late, miss out on sleep...we stay home and enjoy each others company.  We might make a special meal or work on a project together, but we take our weekend activity down a notch by choice, and when we do, we almost never regret it.

There are other ways I have simplified.  I no longer own a lot of shoes.  I looked deeply at my life and was honest with myself and the truth was that I wore about 5 pairs of the 20+ pairs of shoes that I owned.  I now own just two coats. One for the winter snow and one for the light chill of spring.  And I no longer have fancy dinner plates. I just have plates. And room in my cupboard for other things.  I am a much happier girl.

Here are some ideas from Real Simple on ways to simply your life.  Maybe you will use a few?  *hint...The Bluapple is one of them.* :)  6 Ways to Simply Your Life


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Creative Ways to Repurpose, Reuse and Upcycle

I am not one to go buy something that looks neat simply because it looks neat.  If instance, I use a plastic bag to hold my other plastic bags, rather than a fancy bag to hold my bags.  That is just me.  I find it a waste of money to purchase something simply because it looks cute, if I have an item at home that functions and does the same thing, regardless of how ugly it is.

I came across this website and I find a lot of the ideas silly, but a lot of the ideas interesting as well.  There are no instructions, so if you find something you like, you'll need to figure it out or go deeper into google.  BUT...there are a few that I am going to try this month for sure.  And in a perfect world, I would have an old piano as a waterfall.  That is just plain beautiful. And I don't even play the piano.

50 ways to recycle

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What is The Bluapple and How Does it Work?

A few months ago, I went to a friends house with another friend of mine, to make a simple YouTube video about how The Bluapple works.  What I didn't expect was to make a video that would end up being sent to different stores around the country for people to watch, learn, and hopefully...enjoy.  I thought I'd tell you how it all came about.

I was looking through YouTube one afternoon and was disappointed in there not being a well done video about Bluapple.  And so on a Friday evening, I decided that I would make one.  I called my actress friend and asked if she'd come on over and do it with me.  She was happy to help.  I then called my camera running, video editing, script writing, movie making friend Joe.  He was happy to help film and do the editing on this "simple" YouTube video.

Tuesday morning came and we all met at Joe's house to make it happen.  My husband helped with the video running while I directed the video.  Amy was brilliant and Joe ended up editing the video to perfection.  It turned out so well that we made it into DVD's and offer it for free to stores who would like to run a loop DVD to inform potential customers of The Bluapple on how it works and why they need to get the product.

It took about 13 hours from start to finish and we are all quite proud of it.  My favorite line in the video is, "these cute little apples." Because they are cute.  But I love how Amy says it.

If you haven't seen the video, click on the link below.   It will take you to our website where we have put the video as well.

The Bluapple Video

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Produceology of Produce Storage

In case you missed it, I wanted to post again about our website has a link with valuable information on how to properly care for almost 200 different types of fruits and vegetables.  It is easy to use.  Either scroll down and look for the type of produce you are looking for, or use the search bar at the top of the page and type in what you'd like to find.  Chances are, we have it.

Just go to www.thebluapple.com and click on How it Works and then the Produce Storage Tips tab (or click on this link http://www.thebluapple.com/storage-tips).  We call it "The Produceology of Food Storage."

I'd suggest saving the page in your bookmarks or leaving the tab open for when you come home from the grocery store and start to put away your produce.  If you are using  Bluapple in your crisper drawers, they are going to absorb the ethylene gas from your produce, helping it to last up to three times longer.  But the way you store your produce in regards to temperature and humidity control are important too, and our website will tell you how to do it!

Hope your day is fantastic!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

How to Start Tomato Seedlings Indoors

I LOVE fresh salsa.  It really is my favorite food item. I will eat tomatoes purchased at my local grocery store, but I am not very pleased about it.  And I like to purchase them when they are grown locally by the neighborhood kids in my area.  They set up a table with a poor but cute sign, selling Tomatoes at $1 each.  And to be fair, they are worth that $1 until my own tomatoes are ready to be devoured.

BUT this year I am going to get the jump on these kids and make sure my tomatoes are ready to start being turned into salsa by mid June.

I came across this website with step by step instructions on starting tomato plants early.  I have never done it. I usually start around July.  I procrastinate and just never make it happen early enough.  Not this year though.  This year, by the end of April, I will have these beautiful little plants to put in my garden in the back and be making salsa and margaritas in no-time at all!



Starting Tomato Plants Inside

Friday, April 4, 2014

Heart Healthy Foods

I love fresh food.  A plate of fresh fruit and my favorite vegetables can hit the spot much better than a plate of fries and burgers.  There is just something about eating something that is from the earth, that is colorful and pretty, that makes it taste even better to me.

Woman's Day Magazine online has a list of heart-healthy foods.  But I'll be honest.  The photos alone make me want to go home and raid my refrigerator right now. :)
Heart-Healthy Foods

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

What is a carbon footprint?  It is the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.  The less each individual emits, the better.  We can all help in small ways to make a big difference.

Bluapple works to absorb ethylene gas that produce naturally emits, which is what brings it to spoil.  Bluapple will extend the life of your produce and leave more time to consume and less food to throw away.  By using Bluapple, you can reduce your carbon footprint.  Food that doesn't spoil before you can eat it means you are making less trips to the store to buy replacement produce. This saves you time, money and of course, less trash on the curb come trash day. 

There are other ways, easy ways, to reduce ones carbon footprint as well.  Using a filter for your tap water rather than buying water bottles, recycle your paper and plastic, unplug appliances when away on vacation, take the bus or train, carpool, wash your clothes in cold water and line dry instead of a dryer.  If we all do a little, it can really add up to a lot.  Below is a link with a few more easy ways to help make the planet a better place for all of us now, and for the future.

Ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Monday, March 31, 2014

SPRING BREAK!

It is Spring Break in my neck of the woods in Utah and both my boys have been loving it.  One teen sleeps all day and the other snowboards. They really are in heaven...until today. 

We didn't go anywhere due to work, that their dad is out of town and finances. I opted to spend money by taking them out to eat at different places around the city, rather than spend money on gas and hotel and activities.  They were really quite pleased with the idea, since one didn't want to miss out on the slopes and then other likes sleeping in. 

We've had 4 days of eating out while our food hung out in our refrigerator, forgotten.  This morning I opened my refrigerator to see what I was going to make for dinner tonight and if I needed to stop by the store.  I was delighted, as I always am when I see this, that my produce was still fresh and yummy looking, sitting ever so nicely in the cripser drawers. It almost seemed a shame to disturb them, and so I closed the door and made the decision to add one more day of eating out to the list, since school isn't back in session for two more days.  And I know it will be fine...I have Bluapples in my refrigerator.  The milk, however, I had to toss this morning.  I wish there was a product out there to save that!

And so, I headed off to work with a list of jobs for my teens to do while I was gone.  And the looks on their faces was priceless.  WHAT?  YOU WANT US TO CLEAN ON OUR VACATION?!?  Yes. Yes I do. Because sometimes when a mom gets home from work, she'd like to grab a slice of pizza, sit down on the couch and watch a movie with her kids in an already clean house.  I am actually looking forward to tonight.  It has made my Monday feel so much more exciting. :-)

This weekend is when they are really going to freak. It has been a long winter and our home is in need of a fresh start. The weather is beautiful, my husband is out of town and it seems like the perfect time to get some real deep cleaning done. And of course, it goes along with Spring Break...right?  Spring Cleaning!  I am excited for this.  There is just something wonderful about knowing your light switch plates just had a bath.

The link below is a website that gives a very useful list of what to clean. I find it to be helpful and will be using it this Saturday.  Maybe you will too.

Have a fantastic Monday everyone!

Spring Cleaning

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bluapple 101

You may have clicked on this link and wondered what in the world is Bluapple 101.  The picture explains that exactly, but in short...it is how to effectively extend the life of your produce by using the product, The Bluapple. It gives information on what ethylene gas is and how to eliminate it.   Read below to find out more.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Store Fruits and Vegetables

How do you store an organic green apple that was purchased at the farmers market on a Sunday, so that it has the highest chance of survival past one day? Use a Bluapple, of course!

But what about questions on WHERE to store it, and at what TEMPERATURE?  Should it be stored in the refrigerator, or on the counter top with other produce?

The Bluapple website has those answers and more.  We have almost 200 different fruits and vegetables listed with information on how to store them properly. It is easy to use. Either scroll through the list and click on the item you see, or use the search bar and find what you are looking for.

We call it  PRODUCEOLOGY, understanding how to store your fruits and vegetables.

Head on over to our website to learn more.  Save the link for future reference when putting away your fresh produce. Lean how to save money, reduce waste, eat better at www.thebluapple.com.

http://thebluapple.com/storage-tips

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dips Dips and more Dips

Last night I had a mango salsa dip with tortilla chips for dinner. That's it.
I sat down with a bag of chips and a bowl of salsa, turned on Mad Men, and ate "dinner."

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Not in the summer, anyway. Why?  Because if it was the end of June I'd be eating my fresh homemade salsa, rather than (sorry Costco, I suppose it is better than nothing) my store brand plastic container with a black screw on lid salsa.

I love salsa. I love dips. I love the crunch and the wide variety of choices when it comes to dips, and what you can dip in them!

In my search for something delicious, I came across Sam the Cooking Guy. He has some great recipes, a fun and active Facebook page, and even a radio show.  Check him out!
http://www.thecookingguy.com/eat-this


*And of course, what tastes better in dips? Fresh Produce! Brought to you by a Bluapple.* :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Yummy Fresh Lunches

I have packed my kids their school lunches since 2nd grade. My now 18 year old son was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic when he was eight. And so, I started packing him his lunch to ensure that he was getting a healthy low-carb meal.  Son number two came along, and since he'd always seen me packing his brothers lunch, he knew no different. Brown Bags were as normal as a back-pack.

I have probably purchased at least 9-10 different lunch boxes per kid over the years, due to them being lost or just worn out, or not as cool because "6th graders don't take space aliens on lunch boxes mom."  They were almost always dirty, with food stains and sometimes a terrible smell for a few days as the left-over milk carton that didn't get thrown out on Friday smell goes away.

But...I discovered these cute lunch boxes at a trade show over the weekend.  They are eco-friendly, reusable, safe, fun, creative and above all...very useful.  Had these been around back when my boys were little, I would have used them! I could have put some ketchup in with some baked potato fries and kept a salad fresh and looking yummy to eat, rather than a boring PBJ sandwich a a piece of fruit.

Check out their website and FB page. I got a set to give to my little niece this weekend. It is nice enough now for us to take our lunch to the park.  And how perfect are these little boxes? Perfectly perfect. 

http://www.laptoplunches.com/

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Skip the diet. Just eat healthy.

I cleaned out my closet yesterday. I had in my head that I was going to donate all my summer clothes that don't fit me right now and let go and live, quit trying to be skinny, just breathe.

The pile was getting bigger and bigger. I was a little ashamed about how many pairs of jeans I owned. Especially for someone who doesn't wear jeans very often. I had a lot of shorts, a few skirts and two t-shirts that I love, but now roll up over my belly button every few minuets when I wear them.

I put them into a big pile ready to bag them up and haul them to Goodwill...and then I paused.  I took a moment to consider my actions. First of all, I had hundreds of dollars in clothing, perfectly good clothing piled up on the floor, to discard because...??? I didn't want to lose weight?  Yes. But the foundation of that thought was I wanted to continue to be lazy.

I don't exercise. Ever. Not even a walk around the block, unless it is to catch a bus.  I help myself to seconds at dinner because I can, not because I am actually hungry. These are two very bad habits.

If I changed two bad habits, the few inches keeping me from wearing all that I already own would be gone. It would take 3-5 days running (which I used to do all the time) and then being more aware of what I am eating. How hard would that be? How healthy would that be? How economical would that be?

Very. And so...I left my clothing in a neat stacked pile and placed a pretty bow on top. They are a present for me next month when I can wear them because I decided to be healthy, rather than lazy. And I AM being lazy. I'm wearing yoga pants right now. I haven't done yoga in over a year!

It is time to change.

I take the time to eat healthy, to prepare delicious dinners that my family will love.  I can do the same for myself, to take the time to BE healthy and keep my body in a condition to live strong, live long.



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dinner With Friends is Good for the Soul

After a long week of work, my Friday night was looking like a night of taking kids to their events, making dinner for just my husband and I and a night of sitting on the couch, watching movies and talking and...nothing too exciting. And don't get me wrong. I love those nights. I do. But I really wanted something different. Something to get excited about. Something that still allowed me to wear my sweat pants.

And so I invited our friends over for wine, spagetti and conversation.  It was late when I made this choice to shake up our evening. The teens plans changed and allowed for an evening just for adults. No questions about snowboarding videos or complaints about being bored.  They were off to their friends homes and the house was left to my husband and I. And so the invite went out and to my delight, three of our friends were just as excited to visit with us as we were with them.

I made my moms homemade spaghetti sauce, boiled some noodles, placed some garlic bread into the oven and opened a bottle of white wine. And since I didn't have items for a dessert and didn't want to leave the house, I filled a bowl full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I am cultured like that.

Our friends arrived and we sat with our dinner and drinks, talking, laughing and completely forgetting that we had a game to play. The conversation was the main event and it carried on into the night, each of us sharing stories and ideas, laughing and talking. It felt so good to be with friends whom my husband and I adore, and being loved back.  It was the perfect evening, a simple evening.

Do you have evenings like that? An evening that can top any fancy dinner or special event, because all you really wanted was a connection with your friends?  I found this article today, and it reminded my of my weekend. I like the idea of committing to repeating our weekend more often. It certainly was good for my soul.

http://www.chicagonow.com/always-a-bridesmaid/2011/01/dishing-over-dishes-dinners-with-friends-can-soothe-the-soul/#image/1

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How Does The Bluapple Work?

Fruits and vegetables emit ethylene gas.  This silent process is what brings produce to a rippened stage, and then if not eaten and left for dead...the spoiled stage. (I have been guilty of this in the past).  Ripened produce is high in ethlyene gases. This ripened food, when left in your refrigerator with newly purchased produce, will cause your new produce to rippen even faster.

If you use The Bluapple, however, you get up to three times longer to eat your produce so that when you put new produce in the refrigerator, nothing is spoiled. It is gone. It was chopped, sliced, diced or juiced already. :)

Sometimes I will buy certain fruits or vegetables because they are on sale.  I don't know what recipe I am going to use them for at the moment, but when peaches are only .89 cents a lb, I buy peaches and figure the rest out when I get home! But then life happens and I eat out, make anything other than peach filled recipes, or just plain forget about them because the head of lettuce is hiding them.  And without the Bluapple in my crisper drawer, I used to take the bag of fruit from my crisper drawer and place it directly into my trash due to spoilage.  It was so irritating! Such a waste.  And now?  I see those hidden peaches days later and get to enjoy them still.  It is such a win!

And so we made a commercial, to help inform everyone how the Bluapple works.  I quite like it. What do you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMItz8zrOHM

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What To Do with Mashed Potatoes?

I love mashed potatoes.  I usually make more than anyone can or wants to eat. And to be honest, my kids don't love them as much as I do. I not only love them for the taste, but also for how easy they are to add to any main dish as a side meal. If I don't have a lot of the main meal for everyone to fill up on, these lovely vegetables do the trick of filling up kids while tasting delicious.  Serving them more than once a week however gets a little old.

So I found a solution that makes everyone happy...even me!  These potato cakes make my mashed potatoes the main meal now, with a side of other vegetables and a fruit smoothie completing the meal. It is a nice break from meat while adding variety to our dinner menu.

And they look pretty. :)

And my 13 year old thinks they are fun to make. ANYTHING that gets him in the kitchen with me to hang out by choice, instead of him setting the table and waiting in the living room with the TV is a win. We've tried these with sour cream, baked beans, white sauce and plain. They are always a hit!


Potato Pancakes

Do you know how to store your potatoes until they are ready to be peeled, cut, boiled and mashed?



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Morning Cereal With a Side of Cinnamon Rolls!

I know what you are thinking. Sunday morning cereal IS NOT A BREAKFAST.
But let's be honest. As Jim Gaffigan said so well in a comic routine, neither are pancakes with syrup. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o-u4IwXkbE

And so, since it is Sunday and I do not feel like doing anything other than watching snowboard videos with my teen, catching up with friends on Facebook and then getting ready to go out on a hike with the kids into the beautiful mountains, I think a bowl of cereal in front of them is appropriate while I prepare what is to be our glue that brings us together tonight...Cinnamon Rolls.

This recipe is called "Overnight"...but since I am making these at 7 am, they will be ready to enjoy tonight at 8 pm, right before we head off to bed. (I cut a little time off of the refrigerator part...no biggie.) They are the perfect treat to gobble up while we talk about our day in the mountains and what our adventures for the upcoming week might be. 

And the bonus is...guess what is for breakfast on Monday?  Cereal? No...what kind of mom gives her kids cereal for breakfast???  We will be eating cinnamon rolls with a side of eggs and a fruit smoothie.  That sounds like a delicious way to start a Monday. :)
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/overnight-cinnamon-rolls-recipe.html

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Dinner Ideas

*Deep Sigh with a smile*

Ah Friday! How I have looked forward to you, an evening with  no rush to get to bed early in order to function the next day!  Just a nice evening of cooking at home, settling down to a night of family free time, each of us involved in our different interests, but all in the same room. Don't get me wrong, I love going out on a date with my husband on the weekends.  But sometimes ( a lot of times) I also enjoy a stress free night of making something delicious and enjoying the company of my family that I love. It makes me feel all fantastic inside. It is perfect.

And a dinner idea that everyone loves, to help set the mood, is an easy click away. 

These recipes on the Opera Website are fantastic! I haven't ever added a tomato to my grilled cheese sandwich. I think I will tonight! 

Friday Night Deliciousness

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The PRODUCEOLOGY of storing your fruits and vegetables.

The Bluapple is an amazing little apple that absorbs ethylene gas that produce naturally emits.  This gas absorption helps produce to last longer. Amazing, right?  Yes!

BUT it takes more than just ethylene gas absorption to keep your produce lasting longer.

The Bluapple is just one part of the three necessary pillars for produce freshness.  Humidity and temperature control are also needed to be taken care of. The Bluapple website has so much helpful information on produce storage tips.  Check it out!

Click on the link below to learn the PRODUCEOLOGY of your fruits and vegetables!

Storage Tips 





Monday, February 17, 2014

Dear Monday. Hello and Welcome.

I am sure many of you experienced what I do in the mornings, especially on a Monday. The weekend is over and the experience of opening up your eyes and having all day to complete your tasks on your own time table are over. Yes, Mondays can feel like a weight on your shoulders or a death sentence.

I woke up this morning at a dead run. But it wasn't a run of trying to get stuff done. It was a run to get out of the house and be on my own.

My 13 year old had his friend over to spend the weekend with us, and my older son had his girlfriend over as well as she took a break from her college life to spend it with us in Utah. I am used to only cooking for four people. Three days of cooking for six was a little hard on me, along with activities and sleeping arrangements and arguments over whose turn it was to use the TV in the game room.

I made everyone homemade pancakes and a fruit smoothie for breakfast, sat and sipped my coffee while listening to  plans for the day being made. I smiled as I gathered my things, kissed foreheads and cheeks goodbye, wished everyone well on their adventures and walked out the front door. I stared my car, turned the station to one of my choice and sang along to a Def Leppard tune as I headed towards the freeway.

Ah weekends. I love them. But I have also come to love Monday. :)



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cookies for loved ones

Valentine's Day is coming up. It is a given that chocolates and flowers will be lovingly handed out more than usual, but what about cookies?

I love cookies. They are easy to make, delightful to eat. We all have our favorites, the old standby that when offered a choice, we will usually reach for.  My favorite is Chocolate Chip. Yum!

That being said, for holidays like Valentines Day, a variety of cookies, or something different than the usual chocolate chip cookie, can be fun to make and give. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/12/valentines-day-desserts-treats-trecipes_n_822371.html#s239027title=Ancho_ChiliCinnamon_Chocolate

Monday, February 10, 2014

An Idea for your sweet tooth Valentine

I love strawberries. I love chocolate. I love to make things pretty.
 
Chocolate covered strawberries are the perfect gift giving idea for me, as not only do I get to experience the joy of giving SOMETHING I love to SOMEONE I love, but I get to be creative and eat a few samples along the way.

I have a son who is always need of being active and playing outside, and always in need of his hands to be washed.  All I have to do to get him cleaned and indoors for an afternoon with me is to suggest that we create some art as we make these delicious treats for our loved ones.  His hands are washed in moments and we spend an afternoon talking, laughing and eating while we make memories in the form of  chocolate covered strawberries.

http://www.theyummylife.com/Chocolate_covered_strawberries

Saturday, February 8, 2014

It is Sunday afternoon. It is cold. There is snow. And there is nothing delicious to eat for lunch, unless the cereal KRAVE counts, which according to my 13 year old...it does.

So I look around my kitchen trying to come up with something that will melt in my mouth while I cuddle up to a good book.  I've just gotten back from dropping off my youngest at the ski mountain for the afternoon.  Had I been thinking, I'd have picked up some lunch on my way home.  All I was thinking was how good it would be to get back home where it was warm, kick off my boots and make it a "Sweat Pants Sunday." And after I pour my coffee it hits me. "This coffee would taste better with something dipped in it."

And so I look around my kitchen and consider making cinnamon rolls.  However, I do not know where my Betty Crocker hat is, nor do I want to wait three hours.

And then I see the bananas on the countertop. My perfectly yellow bananas.  Perfect to peel and eat. Not perfect to mash them up and make them into banana bread.

No problem.  I can bake them at 300 degrees on a lined baking sheet for about 40 min.  I then let them cool about 20 min.  This makes the banana perfect to use in baking.  They are sweet and soft and perfect.  While the bananas are baking, I mix up my butter, sugar and eggs, along with my flour, baking soda and water. I also add chocolate chips and walnuts, because not doing so really should be a crime.  I do some dishes, check out Facebook, brush my teeth and take the bananas out to cool.  Twenty minutes seems to long and so I put the baking sheet of bananas outside on the snow for 15 minutes.  Yeah, I break rules like that.

I peel the bananas, mush them with a fork, fold them into my batter and drop spoonfuls into muffin tins. (I also sprinkle a little brown sugar that has been mixed with butter on top.) Ten minutes later I am putting a hot fresh  muffin onto my plate, pouring another cup of coffee and sitting back onto the couch with my book in hand, taking in the delightful smell of banana bread.  My oldest son comes downstairs with a delighted look on his face.  He doesn't say it, but I know what he is thinking. "Yeah, I pretty much have the best mom ever. Did you save me a muffin?"

Happy Sunday Folks. It is going to be a beautiful day.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Storing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Better Taste.

The following information is provided on a small card inside each package of The Bluapple. If you lose your copy of it however, I thought it would be nice to have it here on the blog to easily and quickly refer to.

It basically says that  produce will stay the freshest and taste the best when it is stored correctly, with temperature and humidity control (and of course, ethylene gas control with The Bluapple). It lists a suggestion of how to store them and where. It is also informative in that it shows some of the more commonly used fruits and vegetables and what their sensitivity level is to ethlyene gas.

Grab a cup of coffee for a facisnating moring read! :)

________________________________________________________________________

To maintain the freshness and flavor of your produce, it is important to know how to store it at home.  Many fruits and vegetables should be stored only at room temperature because refrigerator temperatures (38 to 42 degrees F [3.3 to 5.6 degrees C]) damage them or prevent them from ripening to good flavor and texture.  Other produce can be ripened on the counter and then stored in the refrigerator.  A few fruits and fruit-type vegetables gain sugar or soften when stored at room temperature.

Countertop Storage:

The counter storage area should be away from direct sunlight to prevent produce from becoming too warm.  Fruits and vegetables that can be stored at room temperature for a few days without shriveling do not lose moisture rapidly.  Even so, moisture loss can be reduced by placing produce in a vented plastic owl or a perforated plastic bag.  Do not place produce in sealed plastic bags on the counter because this slows ripening and may increase off-odors and decay due to accumulation of gasses and depletion of oxygen inside the sealed bag.  Ripening in a bowl or paper bag can be enhanced by placing one ripe apple with every 5 to 7 pieces of fruit to be ripened.  The ethylene gas given off accelerates ripening.

Refrigerator Storage:

Refrigerated fruits and vegetables should be kept in perforated plastic bags in the produce drawers of the refrigerator.  You can either purchase perforated plastic bags or make small holes with a sharp object in unperforated platic bags (about 20 holes per medium sized bag). Separate fruits from vegetables (use one drawer for each group) to minimize the detrimental effects of ethylne (produed by the fruits) on the vegetables.  Use all refrigerated fruits and vegetables within a few days since longer storage results in loss of freshness and flavor.


  








Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mom! What's for dinner?!

"Mom!  What is for dinner?!?"

Last night at 7 pm, this is what I heard. I like the days when I hear "Mom, how was your day?"  But more often than not, the question relates to what my children will be eating within the next 30 minutes.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a dinner in my mind. Peel a banana, dip some fresh broccoli into a nice hummus dip and maybe eat a side of black beans. I think it is the perfect dinner. Easy, quick and best of all, healthy. The rest of my family does not agree with me.

And so, as I try and be creative with meals and add variety that everyone can agree on, I sometimes take a Sunday and spend it preparing meals that I DON'T have to think about when I get home from work, other than taking it out of the freezer the morning of and heating it up for all to enjoy.

I suggest putting on some great music, pouring a favorite drink and making dinner all day, so you don't have to think about it again all week.  This website is full of different recipes and tips and tricks to get you started with cooking meals ahead of time. http://happymoneysaver.com/freezer-meals/

Monday, February 3, 2014

Never Give Up

I had a friend ask me last week, "What situation do you find yourself in where you learn the most; meaning, what happens that makes you learn?"

"When I fail" was my reply. And I thought about that. I accomplish the most right after I screw up, let others down or make a mistake that leaves me with regret. It is in those moments that I pick myself up and make an extra effort and a better attempt the second, third or fourth time around. I WANT to succeed, but sometimes take more than one try to make that happen.

I look back at some of my greatest successes, and nearly all of them happened right after a major fail.

-If you aren't afraid of dying, how can you really live?-

 This is my motto. Not that I am a physical risk taker, because I am not. I drive nice and slow and hold the steering wheel with two hands.  But I am a risk taker with words, with ideas, with thoughts and emotions. Sometimes people very much dislike what I have to say or share.  BUT more often than not, I am well received.

I encourage everyone, whatever your challenge might be, to jump. Take that step and see what happens.  If you fail, learn from it. If you don't and you accomplish something great, pat yourself on the back and look forward to the next big move.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzBCI13rJmA

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Food Waste in America

Last night for dinner I opened a plastic container of BBQ meat, slapped spoon fulls onto a hamburger bun, heated it in the microwave and yelled, "KIDS! DINNER IS READY!"

My husband came into the kitchen to tell me that what I "made" doesn't count as dinner.  I laughed. He is right. It wasn't. Everything on that plate was dead food. And so I grabbed a few oranges and milk and ice, and made an orange smoothie to go with it, along with a quick simple side salad. Not much better, but still...better.

And the reason we had the dinner that we had? No one really likes left-overs in our house. To even type that sentence in admittance is a little shameful. My family is surrounded by so much food, it is never an issue of someone going hungry. We have perfectly editable food in the refrigerator but it is ignored, pushed to the back in favor of a plastic tub of pre-made BBQ meat.

I need to really change my habits. My husband is a left-over eating champ. He doesn't waste anything. America could use a whole lot of people like him in the world. I am working towards that change, but not with as much gusto as perhaps I should be.  At least we eat our left-over produce, right?  I take an apple from the bin on one day, and I am willing to take another from the bin the next. Does that count as leftovers? :)

Here is an interesting article on leftovers and waste in America that was in Business Week. A quote from the article reads, "On average, my fellow citizens throw away 20 pounds of food each month, which amounts to $2,275 a year for a family of four, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture."  Yikes. Maybe we should have sandwiches for dinner to use up the lunch meat and cheese before it goes bad, even though my upbringing and culture says that a sandwich isn't a dinner item.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-10/living-in-the-united-states-of-food-waste

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dr. Oz introduces The Bluapple

My mom loves watching The Dr. Oz Show. I love watching The Dr Oz. Show.  Goodness...even my husband loves watching The Dr. Oz Show.  He always has good ideas to share with his viewers and I almost always feel like a million bucks after watching him, ready to take control of my health!

Dr. Oz is even better when he informs viewers about how The Bluapple absorbs the ethylene gases that produce emits, causing the produce to last longer, saving money and being better for the environment.  Less waste is always a win!

video

Monday, January 27, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday Dips

Disclaimer.  I don't watch football. I have never watched a game from start to finish in one sitting. Ever. In high school, football was a place to hang out, eat food and leave early.  One of the things that I love about my husband is his lack of interest in football. (Loving someone for something they don't like. Interesting.)

This coming Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday!  


I have two boys who don't like to watch football, except for Super Bowl Sunday.  Why?  Because their peer group seems to watch it and they'd like to participate in the conversations about the game the next day at school. 

And of course, food.  They love to eat and watch T.V.

On Super Bowl Sunday, my non-football loving family makes delicious snacks and we sit on the couch to eat, occationally commenting on the game.  We talk about other interests, play a game or two of Angry Birds, look at our Facebook wall and laugh during the commercials.  And then...we eat some more!

Are you a Super Bowl lover or just a Super Bowl food lover like us?  

Our family likes a good dip.  A good dip goes with just about anything. We make a warm vegetable dip for chips, guacamole and hummus dips for vegetables, and yogurt dips for fresh fruit. 

It really is the perfect Sunday.

http://www.oregonlive.com/cooking/2014/01/super_bowl_food_13_dip_and_spr.html 

 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Healthy Eating

Some days for breakfast I have a delightful piece of fruit with a side of whole grain oatmeal, black coffee and a glass of water. Not all days start like this. This morning I ate the cold leftover piece of toast with three bites already taken out of it from my son. I washed it down with a Diet Coke. (I am hanging my head in a little bit of shame.) 

Have you ever had a conversation about what is in your diet with a friend or family member who is riding the wagon holding a banner of, "I've been eating healthy for a week now, so I am pretty much an expert" and regretted ever mentioning it to them?  I have had the conversation, and have been guilty of holding the banner.  This video brought back a lot of memories from my days of living in an area where it seemed that everyone around me was in some kind of competition of being the healthiest.  I tried to compete.  I failed. So I stopped the game and just played myself.  I now just try to do MY best because at the end of the day, that's all I have.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Eat them.
Keep the produce fresh with The Bluapple.
Watch this video and have a good laugh.
May your weekend be fantastic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lraDNDuFNj8

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Organize your refrigerator

Organization is a hard one for me. I tend to be one that can thrive in a mess.  Except when it comes to the refrigerator. I like a neat and tidy cool area. I've been known to eat something just to have it gone so that it will look nicer when I open the door to my cool cave food keeper. Sad. I know.

Here are some fun tips from the website Buzzfeed.  While some are great, and others, in my opinion are not, I think they are fun to read and just might spark some creativity in you to come up with your own ideas.  The one thing the list is missing however, is the color BLUE.  A Bluapple, that is. :)

When cleaning out your refrigerator and throwing out rotten produce that you found stuffed in one of those thin plastic bags that has now turned into a slime fest, remember the Bluapple and the part it can play in freshness.  There are three pillars to freshness: Temperature, Humidity and Ethylene Gas Control.

-Temperature is your refrigerators part (and most can be switched up or down according to your needs.)

-Humidity is both you and your refrigerator. Many have separate drawers with humidity control.  Also, take your produce out of the bags upon arriving home. Not only do they make your produce so that they can't get breathe, but they hold in the ethylene gas that causes produce to ripen, causing them to ripen quicker than if they were out of the bag and had a Bluapple placed among them, absorbing the ethylene gas and allowing for a longer life.

-Ethylene Gas Control, as mentioned above, is what allows for the produce to last longer.  The Bluapple effectively absorbs the gas, which can save you money, time and is great for the environment. 

Enjoy the weblink. The roommate note made me actually Laugh Out Loud, along with a vocal, "ewwwww."  http://www.buzzfeed.com/twopoodles/optimized-refrigerator-storage

Monday, January 20, 2014

We think that our product, The Bluapple is more than just a money saving ethylene gas sucking device...it is cute! :)

Seriously though, I had a poinsettia on my table during the month of December.  The plant is known to last awhile as it is in the home, 7-10 days some retailers say. And as the plant only costs $5, it is a small price to pay to enjoy a beautiful plant for over a week.

However, I had it sitting on my table for the full month of December. 30 days.  How?  I placed a Bluapple in the pot under the leaves.  The fantastic little cute apple extended the life of my plant more than double the amount of time it most likely would have lived.  And can I just add, it was a nice conversation piece when guests at a few parties would say, "What is that little blue thing doing there?" 

I controlled the temperature and humidity.  The Bluapple absorbed the ethylene gas that would have killed my plant off too early for my taste. 

Valentines Day is coming up folks. When you are out spending your money on flowers to make him or her feel like a million bucks, add a bluapple to extend that feeling. And, after the flower is gone, the bluapple can be placed with your loved ones produce and reused an endless amount of times with the low cost refill packets ($10 for a years supply!)

Happy Holidays my friends all year long.