Pioneer Momma

Trading the city life for the simple life.

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Pioneer Momma
Pioneer Momma

So This Is Christmas….

I heard the song So This Is Christmas, by John Lennon, yesterday and it made me think of everything we’ve accomplished this year. 2013 was a substantially productive year, and led to an interesting ride through 2014. But, with all the ups and downs, it’s better to focus on what we have accomplished, and learn from what is left undone.

Hubby had his surgery this year. He was home a total of 7 months, when we had originally expected only two. It was tough for a while, but when we really look at it, we got to spend tons of quality time all together and he is now fully healed. It was much better for him to have the surgery done, than to wait until worse happened. His knee was already shredded, imagine if they had to replace it! But because we held out, he finally got the surgery he needed and is back to his old self. The doctor says he shouldn’t have any problems with it for another ten years or so. Yay!

Bubba is still on track, and is doing exceptionally well in the fifth grade. We’ve still been working on safety rules with him, and now gradually incorporating basic living skills, such as doing laundry and using the microwave. These are great accomplishments for him. He still needs step by step instructions, but is able to follow them relatively well, with few distractions. He absolutely loves math, and has learned three digit multiplication using the lattice method. Once his teacher taught him this way, he took off. We are very proud of him!

This year, I have successfully completed my first year of blogging. It is the longest amount of time I’ve stuck with a project, and I am quite happy with that. It has been hard at times, and there were a few instances where I had to step away for a few days. But overall, I stuck with it, and am very happy with the results. I have tons more growth to look forward to, and can’t wait to experience it. I’ve made some really good friends along the way.

I’ve finally decluttered the house. I used to be a pack rat. Saving things because “oh, I’ll use it someday”, kind of thing. In the past twelve months I have been donating, throwing away, or organizing everything we own. There is finally a place for everything, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Once I realized that stuff is just that: stuff, it was a lot easier to get rid of things we didn’t need or use. Not only does it open up the space, but it creates a soothing and calm environment for us to enjoy.

So this is Christmas, and we’ve done a lot. How about you? Any accomplishments you’d like to share?

Don’t forget to enter the ReSqueeze giveaway going on this week!

ReSqueeze Review and Giveaway on PioneerMomma.com

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What’d You Do This Weekend? #58

So apparently south Los Angeles had a tornado this week!  I figured until we get to our forever home it would be the usual sunny skies, but ferreals, y’all!  A tornado?!?  Here?!?  It was about 30 minutes away from us, but still, not really something I’d like to see in person.  Be on the lookout, you may see me flying up in the air soon!  Which prompted me to start looking up the Michigan/Wisconsin areas (where we are currently looking) to see if they have tornadoes…

Guess what is happening right now??  I’ve got a really great giveaway going on this week, and one lucky reader will win a  4 pack of ReSqueeze’s reusable food pouches, in the 9 oz. size.  Check out my review and enter to win!

ReSqueeze Review and Giveaway on PioneerMomma.com

On to the features!  As always, I love to see what everyone’s been doing, and Stumbled, pinned, and shared many of your posts.  Be sure to check out Tumbleweed Contessa for her favorites of the week.  Here are mine:

MOST VIEWED:  PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE THUMBPRINT COOKIES BY COOKIN AND CRAFTIN

Peanut Butter Fudge Thumbprint Cookies by Cookin and Craftin

Peanut Butter Fudge Thumbprint Cookies by Cookin and Craftin

FEATURES

Practical Gifts for Frugal Friends by Letters From Sunnybrook

Practical Gifts for Frugal Friends by Letters From Sunnybrook

Pallet Wood Rustic Christmas Coasters by Scrapality

Pallet Wood Rustic Christmas Coasters by Scrapality

A Week of Repurposing….Decorating the Front Porch with Poinsettias by Lucy's Nashville Nest

A Week of Repurposing….Decorating the Front Porch with Poinsettias by Lucy’s Nashville Nest

Now, let’s get on with this week’s linkup!  To old, new, and future bloggy friends, welcome to the party!  I can’t wait to see what y’all bring to the table.  Link up as much as you want, and those ideas will be shared on BOTH blogs.  Be sure to say hello!  So share, mingle, create, and have fun!  Feel free to grab a button at the bottom of the post.

By linking up, you agree to let Pioneer Momma use the picture linked by you, in the case of a feature.  If I am unable to grab the pic from your page, you will get an email from me in the couple days ahead of the linkup requesting a pic file to use.  Each feature pic includes a link back to your original post.  The features are pinned and shared on various social media, each linking directly back to your original post.  Thanks for linking up with us!

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ReSqueeze Review & Giveaway

**This is a sponsored post, written by me, on behalf of ReSqueeze.  I received a four pack of 9 oz. reusable pouches to review.  All opinions are 100% my own.  And Bubba’s!**

ReSqueeze Review and Giveaway on PioneerMomma.comBubba loves to get those little snack pouches when we head to the store.  You know, the ones with yogurt and applesauce in them?  Problem is, not all of them are organic, and if they are, they can tend to be a little on the pricey side, when you add up how many we’ve gotten.  I recently started hearing about a company with reusable pouches, and this definitely piqued my interest.

ReSqueeze is a company that makes reusable squeeze pouches for soft foods.  Started by one family, their original idea was for baby food.  They created a durable pouch that is not only reusable and easy to fill, it is also BPA, PVC, and phthalate free, dishwasher and freezer safe, and super cute.  They are larger than the standard pouches we usually buy, and have clear fill lines on the back, so you know how much your kiddo is eating.

I was lucky enough to receive a 4 pack of the 9 oz. size pouches (they also come in 6 oz. size, for the little ones!) to review.  As I usually do, I really put them to the test…

First of all, the pouches come mailed in a neat little box.  You get your first look at the really cute characters used to get the kids excited about using them.  I have to say, I was super excited, as well :-)

Each pouch has a safety cap over the mouth spout, very sturdy closure on the bottoms, and the colorful happy little dudes all over.  The pouch actually felt very smooth, which I knew would be good for my son.  They are made from food-grade plastic and high quality nylon.  If you turn it over, you’ll see the points I mentioned above, about being eco-friendly, BPA-free, and safe for the dishwasher and freezer.

The first thing I tried was to write in the “notes” box on the back of the pouch.  This aspect is perfect, because it allows us to label what foods are in the pouches, in cases of more than one child, or a snack vs. lunch situation.  A regular pen doesn’t wash off completely, but a sticker worked just fine for me.  You can probably even use a dry erase marker if they are going to be sitting in the freezer for a bit.

Since my initial opinion was positive, I knew I had to give these a workout.  I decided on a meal replacement type smoothie.  Bubba and I enjoy these, since they are filling and nutritious, and I wanted to see if the ingredients would work well in the ReSqueeze pouches.  Here’s what I did:

No special equipment is needed for filling these pouches.  While holding the open pouch in one hand (don’t forget to put the cap on!), I just poured in the smoothie.  I found that if you are filling the 9 oz. pouch, filling it to mid-way between the 6 oz. and 9 oz. markers works perfectly when closing it up.  The fill lines really helped out so I didn’t have to guess or estimate on the other pouches.

This was a pretty heavy duty smoothie, so I was very interested to see if the seal at the bottom would hold.  They did!  The seal closes up very easily, and is dual-zip, so double the strength.  They didn’t open up at all with the smoothie inside, which is a big plus.

I was the first one to try using them, since Bubba was at school.  He would be trying the frozen ones as a surprise after school snack.  The first thing that I noticed is that the mouth spout kind of works like a straw.  Meaning you don’t have to just squeeze the pouch, it is almost like you can just drink from it, too.  Would be helpful in preventing the over squeezing of some enthusiastic little hands.  It was very easy to use, and because the pouch has rounded edges and is made of a softer material, there was no sharp edges poking around while squeezing the last bits of smoothie up.

When Bubba got home, he couldn’t wait to try out his ReSqueeze pouch.  Although he likes most fruits and vegetables, I decided to wait to tell him what was in the smoothie, until I got his reaction from eating it from the pouch.  His first words were, “I love it!”.  When asked what part he was referring to, he said that it was like eating ice cream from a pouch, and he could even save some for later.  A selling point for him was that he could re-cap the pouch and stick it back in the fridge for later.  And, as much a selling point as that was, he finished the entire thing within twenty minutes, and even held it while he was writing down his thoughts on using it.  He already is asking to take them to school!

                        

Since he would be the one using them most of the time, I asked him a few questions.  The first was what his favorite part of the pouches were.  He answered that he liked that he could put the cap back on and save some for later.  Then I asked what did he really like about them.  He said “I really like the happy blobs!”.  When asked if there was anything he didn’t like, he said “nope”.  There you have it, two thumbs up from the kiddo :-)

Overall, these pouches are a huge plus, in our book.  Not only would they work for babies and toddlers, they also work for school aged kids, and make eating fruits and veggies fun.  Bubba was surprised when I told him there was kale, spinach, and carrot juice in the pouch, but said he still loved it.  I doubt he’d love it as much in a regular glass!  Even I use the pouches.  Having sensitive teeth, I don’t always feel up to eating a whole meal.  With these pouches, it makes getting down a veggie filled smoothie so much easier.  I do have to say, one of my favorite parts is the easy cleanup!  Our adult hands can very easily get in the pouch with a sponge to get any leftovers.  Pretty much, they are good for the environment, good for us, and fun to use.  I will definitely be picking up the 6 oz. pouches when we add to the family!

Guess what??  ReSqueeze wants you to know how awesome they are, too!  They will be giving away a 4 pack of 9 oz. reusable squeeze pouches to one lucky reader.  Easy entry via the Rafflecopter widget below, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Official Rules: No purchase necessary.  Contest is open to US residents 18+.  Widget for contest includes one free entry.  Contest begins at midnight 12/14/14 and ends midnight Friday 12/21/14.  The winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond with shipping address and information requested.  Information will not be sold or given to third parties in any way, other than being provided to ReSqueeze, so that prize may be sent.  By entering you release PioneerMomma.com from any liability regarding contest procedure/results/third party links and agree to the terms provided.  Void where prohibited by law.  See PioneerMomma.com privacy policy here.  If there are any more questions, feel free to contact PioneerMomma.com here.

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What’d You Do This Weekend? #57

It’s straight to the features tonight, as I’m pretty sure I caught a little bug.  Or, it could totally just be nerves, because after being home for the last 6 months, Hubby starts back at work tomorrow!  His knee is finally recovered from surgery, and things will be going back to normal.  He’s happy :-)  For those of you following along with the Weekly Worksheets, if you could please use one of the past printables, I’d greatly appreciate it!

On to the features!  As always, I love to see what everyone’s been doing, and Stumbled and shared many of your posts.  Every post was pinned!  Be sure to check out Tumbleweed Contessa for her favorites of the week.  Here are mine:

MOST VIEWED: BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH BACON & CRANBERRIES BY PINK RECIPE BOX

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Cranberries | www.pinkrecipebox.com

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Cranberries | www.pinkrecipebox.com

FEATURES

Free Simple Sewing Patterns - Little House Living

Free Simple Sewing Patterns – Little House Living

Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids - A Life in Balance

Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids – A Life in Balance

Free Santa Hat Crochet Pattern - Jenny and Teddy

Free Santa Hat Crochet Pattern – Jenny and Teddy

Now, let’s get on with this week’s linkup!  To old, new, and future bloggy friends, welcome to the party!  I can’t wait to see what y’all bring to the table.  Link up as much as you want, and those ideas will be shared on BOTH blogs.  Be sure to say hello!  So share, mingle, create, and have fun!  Feel free to grab a button at the bottom of the post.

By linking up, you agree to let Pioneer Momma use the picture linked by you, in the case of a feature.  If I am unable to grab the pic from your page, you will get an email from me in the couple days ahead of the linkup requesting a pic file to use.  Each feature pic includes a link back to your original post.  The features are pinned and shared on various social media, each linking directly back to your original post.  Thanks for linking up with us!

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What Are GMOs?

What Are GMOs? by PioneerMomma.com

**This is NOT a sponsored post, I just really, really want to share this**

I’m gonna get crunchy for a minute.  You ready?  Ok.  The day before yesterday I was watching Netflix in my spare time.  I came across a documentary that I had seen on the screen a few times, but never actually watched.  This time, I decided I wanted to know what it was all about.  The movie was GMO OMG, by Jeremy Seifert.  It focused on him (and his adorable family) learning more about GMOs, how they are used, what happens when we consume them, and how much other people know about them.  In all honesty, I was horrified when I finished the movie.  I ran upstairs to Hubby and started rambling off what I had learned, from both the movie AND online searching after it was finished.  He was appalled.  What we now know has seriously changed our lives.

First off, let’s look at the technical definition of GMOs.

What Are GMOs? by PioneerMomma.com

definition sources: Dictionary.com

So now we know a GMO is an organism that has been altered, at the genetic level, by scientists, by inserting genes from something else.  These newly inserted genes have naturally occurring desired traits, such as herbicidal and pesticidal properties, to help the organism thrive in nature (source).  That sounds good, right?  Sure, until you realize that the new plant created is now technically “unnatural”.  That can be up for debate, but I believe that if a piece of corn didn’t start out as a registered “natural” pesticide in it’s own evolution, then it is man-made.  Unnatural.

The top GMO producing company today is Monsanto, owning approximately 27% of the world’s seeds (source).  Their scientists genetically modify seeds, then patent them.  Which means that they own those seeds.  Farmers can’t seed save and regrow them, they need to buy more for the new crops.  Your field cross-pollinated with a patented neighboring crop?  Yup, you’re technically stealing.  Unfortunate, but true.  We are losing our respect for the earth by trying to doctor up and own what has survived on it’s own for millennia.  Our future generations will be left with a legacy of corporate policy, economic takeover, and a lack of self-sufficiency.

Monsanto currently produces 8 commercially available GMO crops (source):

  • corn
  • soybeans
  • cotton
  • alfalfa
  • sugar beets
  • canola
  • papaya
  • squash

Considering 94% of soybean, 93% of corn, 95% of sugar beets, and 96% of cotton planted in the US are GMO crops, chances are that you’ve been in contact with GMOs for quite some time.  Check the origin of your sugar lately?  More than half of sugar production comes from sugar beets. Combine that with the fact that 70% of processed foods contain GMO ingredients, and we’ve got quite the collection. (source for all three statistical statements)

GMOs only affect crops, right?  Wrong.  The meatloaf you made for the family last night, unless specified as organic, likely was contaminated with GMOs.  Commercial livestock need to eat, and many times that feed is made with inorganic, GMO ingredients.  Not only that, but these animals also receive a host of antibiotics and vaccinations, which then transfers to us.  I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but taking a look at some of the commercial cows, they have insanely large muscles.  This may be due to the other variety of shots they get, in order to decrease fat and increase muscle production.  All the better to sell and serve.

Now we know that GMOs are likely in most of the food we eat.  But what exactly do they do to us?

That’s up for debate.  According to Monsanto, they are perfectly safe and the foods produced may even provide added nutritional benefit, such as increasing Omega-3 fatty acids in soybeans (source).  On the other hand, one doctor conducted a two year trial on rats and concluded that GMO foods, specifically regarding Roundup related product, caused an increase in tumors, infertility, and organ disease (see the basic report here, with link to full report).  Monsanto has commented back on this claim, stating that critical information was absent, and that the study didn’t meet acceptable standards (see their full comments here).  The 90 day study done by Monsanto was, according to them and peer scientists, sufficient enough time to discern whether or not any added health risk came from consuming Roundup ready or GMO foods.  My question is this:  If a two year study, done on the same type of rats as the Monsanto study, resulted in any form of increased risk, wouldn’t it be wise of Monsanto to do a followup study of two years (or at least over 90 days) to compare notes?  And maybe PROVE that there isn’t any risk?  No human studies have been published to my knowledge at this time.  I’d be interested in finding out the results.  If the products are so safe, why not have the Monsanto executives volunteer as test subjects?

Monsanto quotes the American Medical Association, on their home page, as saying, essentially, that bioengineered foods have been consumed for over 20 years with no real negative consequences.  This is where I raise up my hand in class.  There has been sharp increases in the prevailance of autism and ADHD related diagnoses since the 1980s.  As a nurse, I completely understand the quick pace in the advancement of medical technology and knowledge.  Is the rise in diagnoses strictly due to the introduction of GMO foods in the 90s?  Maybe not.  But it is a pretty big coincidence, and in my opinion, it likely has a lot to do with it.  When my son began his journey with the psychiatrists and hospitals, we made the switch to him eating mostly organic foods.  I’m telling you, there was a vast difference in his behavior and symptoms.  He was able to focus more, and was less irritable.  Granted, that wasn’t a big scientific study, but it was enough to get me to see the value in erasing GMOs from our diet.  The Liberty Beacon has an interesting article on the correlation of Autism and GMO consumption.

Aside from the possible health risks already mentioned, allergens have also come up in the GMO conversation.  Monsanto states there is no evidence of allergens being introduced in GM foods (source), but an interesting statistic provided by The Institute of Responsible Technology states that there was a 50% increase in soy allergies in the UK after GMO soy was introduced (source).  They also reference studies showing infertility in third generation hamsters, low birth weights, excessive cell growth in the stomach lining of rats, and a few more interesting finds.

A study was done on pregnant women to see if certain residues of common herbicidal and pesticidal modifications would remain present in their systems, and even further, transfer to the unborn baby.  They came up with some pretty interesting results, which even more validates my opinion on the necessity of going GMO free.

The FDA, EPA, and USDA all have a part in regulating the approval of GM crops in the United States.  The FDA evaluates composition, and has a system in place to determine if a substance is “generally regarded as safe”, or G.R.A.S.  This title means, essentially, that it won’t cause harm to the consumer.  Ok.  So I checked a random item in my kitchen.  Enter imitation almond extract (btw, it is now no longer in my kitchen…).  The ingredients were water, alcohol, and benzaldehyde.

  1. Benzaldehyde is an organic compound.  Monsanto claims that “DNA and RNA are a normal part of every plant and animal, and therefore in virtually every meal we eat. DNA and RNA carry no dietary hazard and are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) in the United States, and are considered safe by food safety experts globally.” (source).  With that reasoning, benzaldehyde, seeing as it is a naturally occurring compound, able to be extracted from bitter almond oil, and other sources, should be perfectly fine to consume.
  2. Benzaldehyde is a GRAS item, as identified by the FDA.
  3. According to the EPA, benzaldehyde is classified as a hazardous substance, with toxicity resulting in both kidney and oral studies (source).

Using Monsanto’s rationalization, benzaldehyde should be perfectly safe to consume, because it is naturally occurring.  But now we know that critical effects have resulted in it’s use, in clinical trials.  Sure, you and I don’t run around downing imitation almond extract like water.  But knowing that residual effects of the GMO crops and Roundup modifications can stay in our systems at some level, when does that accumulation become toxic?  Wouldn’t we be subject to the same toxicity, resulting in the possible detrimental effects listed in the 2 year rat study?  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Many states have attempted the forced labeling of GMO foods, which I wholeheartedly agree with.  The Center for Food Safety has been big in assisting these states.  Unfortunately Monsanto doesn’t have the same attitude, and have threatened lawsuits on those passing the labeling bills (see more of this in GMO OMG).  Monsanto says that they support “a consumer’s right to choose products based on the attributes that meet their individual preferences” (source), yet don’t allow those bills to pass?  Seems contradictory to me.

Although there is no law in our country, as of this time, requiring the labeling of GMO foods, companies can voluntarily go through the process of being GMO-free certified.  You’ve probably seen some of these labels around, and the Non GMO Project has been increasing their awareness substantially.  I recommend checking out their site, they’ve got a bunch of useful information on there.

I had no idea the whole GMO industry went this far, and am glad I found out.  I will be supporting the GMO labeling, and our right to choose what we feed ourselves and our families.  In my opinion, the accumulation of GMO pesticidal and herbicidal residues, and their resulting health risks, is enough to convince me that eating GMO foods is equivalent to eating poison.  That may sound harsh, but with the substantial literature, and the lack of raw data proof from companies like Monsanto, I wouldn’t chance it.  I hope you’ve got enough information now, to make your own educated decision.

This whole subject has been increasingly on my mind, as I have recently been working on monetizing my blog.  I have had a few offers for products I really just don’t believe in, and wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with you.  Monetization or sponsored posts strictly for the paycheck is not something I’m into.  I can personally guarantee that anything I promote on this blog is something I have or would use for myself and my family.  Anything contradictory just gives me the heebie-jeebies.  So, although it will probably be few and far between those posts, I’ll have a totally clear conscience, and will be comfortable in the fact that my readers will be introduced to something safe and beneficial to our overall goal.

My family’s overall goal is self-sufficiency, and part of that includes eating foods that are safe and natural.  The future generations depend on us and the choices we make today.  Sustainable agriculture can only be achieved by organic farming, and the non-usage of patented, genetically modified, seeds.

NON GMO Project

ARTICLE: Problems with Genetic Engineering

American Academy of Environmental Medicine

GMO OMG

World Health Organization

Monsanto Main Page

Monsanto’s answers to food safety questions

 

 **What are your thoughts on GMOs?  I’d love to hear from every perspective.**

 

 

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25 Days of Good Deeds Printables

If you weren’t around last year, Bubba and I have a tradition of doing our advent calendar a little different.  Rather than the traditional calendar, we use the chain method.  BUT, to help him learn what the spirit of Christmas really means, we turned that chain into a different idea each day of something nice he could do for someone else.  Throughout the month, we take off each link and put them into our Good Deed Jar.  On Christmas Eve the jar goes right next to the cookies, and Santa gets to see all the ways Bubba has helped people this month.  He really loved doing it last year, and has been super excited to do it again this year.  We already have two down: “Pay someone a compliment” and “Ask my teacher to help him with something”.  He did both :-)

You can make your own, very easily, or you can snag one of these 25 Days of Good Deeds Printables.  Remember the tree at the head of the chain?  Print out one of these, laminate it, and cut a notch out at the center of the bottom of the page.  That is where your links will connect.  Then continue on encouraging the kiddos for their helpful ideas!  See ours from last year here.  Click the pics below to get yours!

25 Days of Good Deeds (Snowman) by PioneerMomma.com     25 Days of Good Deeds by PioneerMomma.com      25 Days of Good Deeds (tree) by PioneerMomma.com

What type of advent or chain do you use for Christmas?

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Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe by PioneerMomma.com

It wasn’t until last year that I started making my own cranberry sauce.  I had never been a real big fan of it, and absolutely hated the can-shaped gelatinous blob that we ate as kids.  I dreaded the words “cranberry” and “sauce” together.  That is, until I started making our own.

If the new sauce didn’t convince me, let’s take a look at the health benefits of these scrumptious little guys:

Health Benefits of Cranberries

We ate this for Christmas last year (remember that pic, Instagram?) and I made it again this year, for Thanksgiving.  And in case you’re wondering, yup, this Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe sure will be on our table on the 25th as well.  It is such a super simple recipe, I probably could have made it back when I burned water.  The great thing is that by playing with the ingredient amounts, you can alter the flavoring little by little to your “perfect” combination.  Last year I used real oranges and threw in some orange zest, and it was fantastic.  This year, I totally forgot (gasp!) to pick up some oranges, so I tried orange juice instead.  Totally works!  I’m sharing that version with you today, just so you see how incredibly easy it is to make your own delicious cranberry sauce that the whole family will be pining over.  Enjoy!

Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

2 lb whole cranberries

1 cup water

1 cup orange juice

1 1/2 cup sugar

orange slices or zest (optional)

 

Directions

1.  Rinse the cranberries in a colander, and discard any leftover stems or wonky, unwanted berries.

Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe by PioneerMomma.com

2.  In a large pot, on medium-high heat, bring water, juice, and sugar to a boil.  Add cranberries, and stir occasionally.

Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe by PioneerMomma.com

3.  When mixture comes to a boil, you should start seeing the berries start popping.  This is good.  Keep stirring, and lower heat to a simmer.

Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe by PioneerMomma.com

4.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, and all the cranberries have loosened and popped.  It should look a bit like a jam or preserves at this point.  If the sauce is foaming too much, add in a pat (about a Tbsp) of butter, and stir.  This is a neat little trick used in canning to decrease or eliminate the unsightly foam.

Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe by PioneerMomma.com

5.  Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and serve!

Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe by PioneerMomma.com

What type of cranberry sauce does your family enjoy during the holidays?  Any uncommon but tasty combinations?

**Necessary disclaimer:  I am not a doctor and am in no way giving medical advice.  Any medical or health questions should be directed to your family doctor.

 

 

 

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What’d You Do This Weekend? #56

It’s actually raining today!  And this is supposed to be the “drizzle” before the big storm on Tuesday.  It is super beautiful, and is great for the drought.  I know we’d have to have a ton more rainy days to improve on the drought, but every little bit helps, right?  This means that I’m going to go get the rest of the pumpkins from the garden tomorrow and just let them ripen at home.  They’re going to be roasted and pureed for Christmas baking :-)

We are getting our Christmas tree tomorrow as well.  I used to use an artificial tree for the longest time (not even counting the time during nursing school when all I had was a construction paper tree I hung on the wall for Bubba – those were what you’d call “character building” times!), but the last few years we’ve used a real tree.  I wasn’t so keen on the idea at first, but as it turned out, I love it so much more!  Yes, I’ll miss the convenience of having the tree all ready to pull out whenever we want, but nothing can compare to going and picking out the perfect tree and having your whole house smell like pine needles.  Love it!

This week I shared some big changes.  I also sent out the FIRST weekly newsletter yesterday!  Did YOU get one?  There’s some sneak peek info in there you’ll want to see!  Sign up via the left side bar or the bar at the top of your screen to get the next one, AND a free ebook!  Thanks to all of you who already have signed up!  And the lovely emails I received in response to it :-)

On to the features!  As always, I love to see what everyone’s been doing, and Stumbled, pinned, and shared many of your posts.  Be sure to check out Tumbleweed Contessa for her favorites of the week.  Here are mine:

MOST VIEWED:  PIZZA CALZONES BY THE KITCHEN WIFE

PIZZA CALZONES BY THE KITCHEN WIFE

PIZZA CALZONES BY THE KITCHEN WIFE

FEATURES:

Gluten Free Pumpkin Oat Bars Recipe from Anyonita-nibbles.co.uk

Gluten Free Pumpkin Oat Bars Recipe from Anyonita-nibbles.co.uk

Old Wood Clamp Shelves by Scrapality

Old Wood Clamp Shelves by Scrapality

Covered Beds Protected from the Freeze by Garden Up Green

Covered Beds Protected from the Freeze by Garden Up Green

Now, let’s get on with this week’s linkup!  To old, new, and future bloggy friends, welcome to the party!  I can’t wait to see what y’all bring to the table.  Link up as much as you want, and those ideas will be shared on BOTH blogs.  Be sure to say hello!  So share, mingle, create, and have fun!  Feel free to grab a button at the bottom of the post.

By linking up, you agree to let Pioneer Momma use the picture linked by you, in the case of a feature.  If I am unable to grab the pic from your page, you will get an email from me in the couple days ahead of the linkup requesting a pic file to use.  Each feature pic includes a link back to your original post.  The features are pinned and shared on various social media, each linking directly back to your original post.  Thanks for linking up with us!

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Pioneer Momma
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Big Changes in the Works…

Mornin’ friends!  Just a quick post to let you know about the upcoming changes on Pioneer Momma!  I am super excited about these, so join me in my happy dance, will you? :-)

1.  I wrote a book!  Well, an ebook, and it’s FREE!  See that new bar at the top of your screen?  That is where you so graciously enter your email to sign up for the brand new weekly newsletter.  In exchange, you get a free ebook!  It’s called Six from One: 6 delicious recipes from one pot of chicken stock.  A worthwhile read, if I do say so myself.  The weekly newsletter will be an alternative to getting daily post updates, and you’ll be first to know about upcoming giveaways, events, and projects.  Plus I’ll probably throw in some freebies every once in a while, cause that’s how I roll.  Who doesn’t love free stuff?

2.  The shop is open!  There’s only two items in it right now, but not to worry, there will be bunches soon.  I figured I’d open it now, and add as items are completed.  Any suggestions?  Shoot me an email here and I’d love to hear what you’re looking for!

3.  The Weekly Worksheets for next year will be a little different.  There will be one primary worksheet, which will be the free version on the blog.  If you prefer more use out of your worksheet, I have more thorough (and super cute) versions in the shop.  The one you see below works for every week, as you can input the week in the top right.  I am also working on a 12 month variation of this worksheet, so there will be themes according to what month/holiday is coming up.  You’ll be able to get the whole package all at once, in one convenient download.

2015 Weekly Planner Worksheet

4.  I’m writing a real book!  This announcement may be a bit premature, as I am still in the beginning stages and searching out a publisher.  But from what I’ve researched, I’d better have a darn good pitch to get the hardcover version published the way I want.  BUT, I fully believe in my idea, and am completely determined to make it work.  Since it would be my first published version, if I don’t get picked up, I’ll make it an ebook. :-)

5.  I’ve updated a few things in the look of the blog.  I think it flows better, and I’ll probably alter things in the future, but I’m pretty happy with how it looks right now.

That’s not all!  I have a few things up my sleeve that I am working on, and will announce them as soon as I can.  So kindly enter your email right up there at the top, check out the latest linkup, and stick around for some gettin’ back to basics fun!

Y’all have a wonderful day :-)

 

 

**THIS WEEK’S BOOK CLUB QUESTION:  This is the last week of reading Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult.  What do you anticipate the ending to be?  What were your overall thoughts on the story?  About the elephants?  Email your answers here to be included in the final post.

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