Monday, October 8, 2012

Crockpot Apple Porkchops and Other Ramblings

So this past weekend was pretty amazing. It started out Friday evening when Kyle took me on a date. A WHAT!? Yes, a date. Our first one since buying our house back in May. And I know why--  Shit's expensive now-a-days! Two movie tickets was 20 bucks! Although I am ever so grateful that we actually got out of the house and did something, saving money and renting a Redbox is seriously the way to go!

Saturday Kyle woke up at the buttcrack of dawn to go hunting. He was like a little kid at Christmas with a huge grin on his face, all decked out in his camo and brand new bow ready to go at 5am. Now, why anyone would want to leave a warm comfy bed and go sit in a tree in the freezing cold for HOURS is beyond me. To each his own i guess. He must really like it because my hunny came home with a big ol' doe! After I dried my tears and got over the fact that he killed Bambi's mom, I couldnt be more excited about all the meat in the freezer... The Deer jerky is marinating now... working on perfecting a recipe! :]

Saturday was also the last day of the Bridging the Wellness Gap program. I'm so sad that it's over! I could go on and on about the wonderful things  that it has done for me and changed in my life but I will save that for a later blog post. What I will do though is talk about how proud I am of myself and everyone that finished. We met at the gym for our final testing, and everyone had amazing results and improvements after 12 weeks. I ended up not losing any weight, but I lost a total of 4.5 inches off of my biceps, waist, hips, thighs & chest combined. My 1 mile run improved from 7:47 to 7:22, my max effort pushups improved from 31 to 50, my reach improved 2 inches, my blood pressure lowered, and my situps improved from 44 in 1 minute to 56 in 1 minute. I was so surprised! I am definitely one to look at the scale a little too often, and believe a little too much what it's telling me. So when the scale wasn't moving, I was feeling EXTREMELY discouraged and no self-confindence. After the testing on Saturday I can honestly tell you that losing INCHES is a much better feeling than losing WEIGHT!

As if Saturday morning wasn't amazing enough, in the afternoon my mom and I headed down to Mallow Run Winery for Wine at the Line. What a beautiful day for this race! I was originally signed up to run the 5 mile, but I was pretty fatigued from my testing that morning and I wanted to have more of a "fun" run rather than a killer one, so I opted to switch to the 5k. I just went at my own comfortable pace, expecting to finish somewhere around 30 minutes which seems to be close to my average. To my surprise, I rounded the corner and crossed the finish line at 26:54!!!! I COULDNT BELIEVE IT! That was my fastest time Ive ever had! I was so proud of myself for all that I accomplished that day and all the hard work that I put into it. How did I celebrate you ask? WINE OF COURSE! :] Here are some pics from the run:

My beautiful mom and I, she did the walk and I did the run! So proud of her!
Some of my PR Fitness crew, we all Rocked it! - Photo courtesy of Sherri!
Stacy and I celebrating at the finish line and tasting each other's wine, hey ya gotta do what ya gotta do! - Photo courtesy of Stacy!
Ok enough rambling and back to why you're really looking at my blog. THE FOOD. Not JUST food, but pork chops. Probably my favorite meat. Big ol' thick boneless ones from Meijer. Those are the best. We always grill them so I set out to find a recipe that was a little different and this one caught my eye:  .. mainly because I had all the ingredients. I jazzed it up a little bit though and it was AMAZING--Perfect for a fall evening! I also made it in the crockpot so that's bonus points because it took about 3 minutes to throw together.


  • 2 thick cut boneless porkchops (or however many mouths you're feeding)
  • 2 medium apples (i used gala), cut into 1 inch chunks (I left the skin on)
  • 1 medium onion -- diced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • salt & pepper
  1. Spread apple chunks and diced onion in bottom of crockpot.
  2. Dash with salt, pepper & some rosemary
  3. Lay pork chops on top of apples & onions
  4. Mix together broth & cider vinegar and then pour into crock pot
  5. Add minced garlic on top of pork chops
  6. Finish with more salt, pepper & rosemary on top
  7. Close the lid and watch the magic happen. Well, not really, unless you have nothing to do for 8 hours except watch pork chops cook and if that's the case I think you need to get yourself a hobby. Just a thought.
I actually cooked mine on high for 4 hours but you could probably cook them on low for 7-8. These pork chops were SO TASTY. Very juicy and full of flavor! I topped the cooked chops with the apples from the bottom of the crock pot. The apples were so yummy just to eat by themselves! This is definitely a keeper recipe and very easy to make. Happy Cooking!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Bacon

Today was my first Monday off work. I made a promise to myself that I would spend these days off extremely productive and would NOT be lazy. BUUUUUTTTTTT today was my first one and it was cold and rainy and all I wanted to do was snuggle with my pups. So thats what I did, AFTER going to PR Fitness this morning of course! So, given the weather conditions and my mood, I wanted to make squash with dinner because it makes me feel all fuzzy inside.

So there was a butternut squash, acorn squash & 2 spaghetti squashes sitting on my counter staring at me. I literally played eenie meenie miney mo to decide which lucky little squash was going to be on my plate for dinner, and butternut won!

I don't make butternut squash alot so I was throwing ideas around in my head on how I should prepare it-- I really only know of three ways: soup, roasted & mashed. Roasting it seemed the quickest to prepare.


  • 1 medium to large butternut squash
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • maple syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Cut in half & peel your butternut squash and remove the seeds. Then slice into 1 inch chunks.
  3. Throw into a roasting dish and toss with olive oil
  4. Sprinkle with salt, cinnamon & nutmeg
  5. cut your bacon strips into 1-2 inch pieces and lay on top of squash
  6. LIGHTLY drizzle maple syrup over the top of bacon
  7. Put in oven and roast for approximately 45-50 minutes, until bacon is cooked and squash is soft.
Sorry I didn't take any pictures, I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out so I had no intentions of putting this recipe on here. To my surprise, though, this was very tasty and I paired it with 2 eggs over easy (I like to eat really random food together and eggs take about 2 seconds to cook so it's always my go-to meal!)

Easy clean up and now Kyle and I are about to hash it out for the tv, Monday Night Football vs. The Voice... I WILL WIN! :]