Thank You #blueballoonsforsydney 

20 Jun

  

  Last Monday I began my day by contacting three other families that were friends with the Galleger’s to ask them if they would help me with this small idea I had of “Blue Balloons for Sydney”.  I made a couple of graphics, flyers, and Facebook buttons to post on social media.   Tuesday night I created a public Facebook page and invited three hundred of my Minnesota friends to participate.  That invite list is now nearing 15,000. Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate what is happening around Eden Prairie, Minnesota, The USA, and the world. I am beyond grateful, completely humbled and quite frankly in awe of the way so many people have come together for this family.    Thank you ALL so much for honoring, loving, and praying for a hurting family.  Sydney has saved lives, brought a community together and impacted a world. She was nothing short of a miracle… She truly is an angel!   

Keep those thoughts and prayers coming…  #blueballoonsforsydney doesn’t end today…  XOXO. 

Shannon 

  
If you want to see the amazing pictures check out the “Blue Balloons for Sydney” Facebook page!  

Blue Balloons for Sydney 

16 Jun

 You may have heard about the 17 year old, full of life, contagious spirit of a girl, Sydney Galleger who passed away due to complications from oral surgery this week. I grew up with her family and her aunt is still one of my dearest friends.  Her funeral is this Saturday 6/20/15 at 11:11am. To show our support, we are asking the community to display blue (whatever shade you can find) balloons in front of their house or business to celebrate Sydney’s huge heart and cherished 17 years of life. We want to blanket Eden Prairie and surrounding areas to honor Sydney. We’d love for the balloons to be up by 9:00am so that the Galleger’s can feel our love on the way to the funeral of their special girl. Thank you for showing your support! Please help spread the word! 

    

No matter where you live; Colorado (like me) or Canada or China, I’d love for you to participate!  Please just post a picture of your balloons to mommyapolis’s Facebook page and I will share them with the family!  Let’s show this family the power of a world wide community!  

 

Please also include the family in your prayers going forward.  Thank you!  

Baseball & Onion Strings

27 May

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How gorgeous is this Little League ball field?  That stunning background is brought to you by Mount Sopris, one of Colorado’s beauties!  Oh and those handsome boys you see, those are the “Mud Cats”.  My older two boys have been members of this crazy Little League Team this season and we’ve had a blast!  They play in the “minor leagues” which is designated for 8 & 9 year olds and it’s been amazing to watch their skills improve every game!  Last night our team won the first game of the Little League Championship Tournament.  It was a nail biter for sure.  The Mud Cats were down 7-3 in the third inning.  In the fifth inning we scored 3 to bring the score within one.  We scored two runs in the top of the sixth and headed into the bottom of the sixth up by one run.  One thing you should know about Little League at this level is that we play six innings or two hours, which ever comes first.   With two outs and a man on third, the Raptors were prepped to score the tying run.  Our pitcher fielded a ground ball and tagged out the runner right before home base- MUD CATS WIN!!!!    My heart was racing and the boys were so excited!  The Raptors played an awesome game and we were beyond thankful for the bit of luck that goes along with every baseball game!  Of course following the game we enjoyed celebratory ice cream together and headed home to have sweet dreams of America’s Favorite Pastime.

In honor of our BIG WIN, we are going to enjoy a baseball themed dinner tonight at home!  My hubby is an awesome cook and likes to be creative with even the simplest of foods…  Here is his take on “Baseball Food”.

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Fancy hot dogs, homemade onion strings and of course a cold one…  The boys will get root beer or Izze instead (of course)…

Here is the recipe for the most delicious onion strings this side of Mount Sopris…

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon (scant) Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (to 1/2 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 quart (to 2 Quarts) Canola Oil
  • Black Pepper To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Slice onion very thin. Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk and soak for at least an hour.

Combine dry ingredients and set aside.

Heat oil to 375 degrees.

Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and PLUNGE into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown.

Repeat until onions are gone.  Enjoy them with a juicy steak or in this case a fancy hot dog :).

Beer Bread

11 May

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OK, are you stuck on the Minnesota cutting board?  It’s cute, right?  Once a Minnesota girl always a Minnesota girl, that’s what I say!  OK lets look past the adorable cutting board to the delicious bread sitting on it!  This is one of the easiest “quick bread” recipes I’ve found!  You can definitely replace the beer with soda and yeast or even water and yeast!  The most important part of this recipe is that you sift the flour!  You can do this using a flour sifter, metal strainer or even a slotted spoon!  If you do not sift the flour your bread will be very dense and heavy!  The other option with this bread is to mix the butter into the batter which creates a softer bread.  Pouring the butter over the top creates a buttery crispy crust.  I love this bread as a side for just about anything…  With yummy salad season approaching this is a fun bread to accompany your greens.  It’s also great in the winter with soup or chili!    ENJOY!

Ingredients

    • 3 cups flour ( sifted- very important)
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 (12 ounce) can beer (see directions for other options)
    • 1/4 cup melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Sift the flour through a sifter or even a metal strainer- even a slotted spoon!  This is very important so that your bread is not too dense!
  3. Mix dry ingredients and beer.
  4. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
  5. Pour melted butter over mixture. (If you’d like softer bread versus a crispy crust, mix the butter into the batter)
  6. Bake 1 hour, remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes.
  7. If you do not have or want to use BEER you can use 2 teaspoons yeast and a can of soda or other liquid :)
  8. If your bread tastes like a heavy brick, most likely it’s because the flour wasn’t sifted correctly!

Creamy Sloppy Joe’s – Burger Joe’s

9 May

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This recipe comes from our dear friends Jennifer & Bethany.  Their mom started to create a cookbook for her daughters while she was battling cancer.  The cookbook did not get finished prior to her passing away, so her daughters are finishing it in her memory.  They are both super creative so of course their idea is AWESOME… They put out a plea on Facebook for anyone who might want to make some of their mom’s recipes, photograph the end product, and send it back to them.  This alleviates them having to make all of the food and also allows the rest of us to enjoy some of their mom’s meals… CREATIVE, right??  They put out a google doc with all of the recipes and we signed up for as many as we were able to make.   A great way to honor Ms. Denise-I’d say!  Tonight we made the first of Denise’s recipes for the cookbook.  They are called “Burger Joe’s”.  They are kind of like sloppy joe’s, but much less messy and much less tomato-eee…  They sound kind of crazy, but were actually really good.  Ben and I had a lot of fun making them together and of course being the photog that he is (www.bendodds.com) doing a little food styling while we were at it!  All THREE of my boys ate them and I didn’t have one complaint, that in and of itself makes for a good meal (and a miracle, really)!  I think these would be a hit at any gathering you’re having.  Here’s the scoop:

BURGER JOE’S (AKA CREAMY SLOPPY JOE’S)

Yield: 8 Hamburgers

1lb Ground Beef

1 Medium Onion- Chopped

1 Tbsp Mustard

2 Tbsp Tomato Paste

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce

½ tsp Garlic Powder

¼ tsp Pepper

1 tsp Horseradish

1-16oz Can Bean Sprouts, rinsed & drained (I did not add these)

½ C Sour Cream

 8 Hamburger Buns, toasted

Cook beef and onion in a skillet, cooking until meat is browned. Stir in mustard, tomato paste, soy sauce, garlic powder, pepper, horseradish and bean sprouts. Simmer stirring occasionally 10 minutes. Remove from heat stir in sour cream. Spoon on buns.  YUMMY!

Cinco de Mayo Sombrero Craft

5 May

Happy Cinco de Mayo Friends!  Have you ever wondered what exactly Cinco de Mayo is?  If so I’m about to tell you…  In 1862, the Mexican army defeated French forces (whose numbers were double that of the Mexican troops) in a huge battle in a town called Puebla. It was an unexpected victory and became the source of much excitement and pride, not just in Mexico, but also in many Mexican communities in the American West. When word of the May 5 victory reached mining communities in California, Mexican workers reportedly celebrated by firing rifles into the air and singing patriotic songs. That is said to be the very first Cinco de Mayo celebration…and they’ve increased in popularity ever since.  This is why  Cinco de Mayo is largely celebrated not in Mexico itself, but en los Estados Unidos!

Cinco de Mayo is not to be confused with Mexico’s official Independence Day, which is celebrated across Mexico on September 16. But here in America, May 5 has become a day to embrace Mexican heritage and pride, whether you have Mexican ancestry or not.

Tonight we are having a little family Cinco de Mayo celebration with delicious Mexican food, drinks and these lovely Sombrero centerpieces!  They were super easy to put together and the boys had a lot of fun with it.  All you need is a paper plate, paper cup, some pipe cleaners, puff balls and glue!  I twisted the pipe cleaners around the bottom of each cup for my youngest, but my older two were able to do this themselves.   I did cut off the ends for all of them to avoid any poking :).  We then glued the cup to the plate and decorated them to look like mini sombreros.   We just used colored puff balls and glued them around the edges of the plate!   We practiced patterns and counting while we were making them too!  The other idea I had was to punch a hole on either side of the cups and thread them with ribbon to make a cute banner…  What ever you choose I think they’ll be a hit at your fiesta too!

 

Cowboy Caviar Chip/Cracker Dip

29 Apr

 

I was trying to think of a recipe for an appetizer/dip that was a little bit more “healthy” and fresh than the ones I usually make.  I remembered a friend making “Cowboy Caviar” at a BBQ one time so I did a little research.  I found tons and tons of recipes online for cowboy caviar and no two were alike.  I decided to combine a couple, add some of my favorite ingredients and see what happened.   I made enough to feed an army, and if I had one over it would have been gone, it was yummy!   Here’s my recipe for Cowboy Caviar… Make it for Cinco De Mayo or your next BBQ, it really was a hit!

COWBOY CAVIAR- Mountain Style :)

1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 can of black-eyed peas (can use dried, just cook and drain)
1 can of black beans (can use dried, just cook and drain)
1 can of pinto beans (can use dried, just cook and drain)
1 can of  corn (can use frozen, just cook and drain)
Fresh Cilantro

OPTIONAL:

Chopped Pineapple, Avocado, and/or Mango

Drain and rinse all ingredients.  Toss in LARGE bowl.

DRESSING: Bring 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar and 1 c. oil to a boil.  Remove from heat immediately and dissolve 1/2 c. sugar into mixture. Cool. Pour dressing over chopped ingredients & chill.  Serve with dipping chips or really you could even eat it like a salad…  DELICIOUS

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