Wednesday, October 10, 2012

NBCs Parenthood - Everything you want in feel-good TV

“I thought I could do it all...but I can't, not now, anyway.”  This from Julia Braverman-Graham, the working mom on my favorite TV show – Parenthood (NBC, Tuesdays, 10pm/9pmCST). 

What I love the most about this show is how well it handles the REALITY of parenthood. You laugh and you cry during this one hour show. You learn things.  You enjoy.  

Julia, soon-to-be partner of her law firm, has always handled being a working mom seamlessly.  Recently, she and her husband Joel adopted an 11-year-old boy.  (They already have a precocious 5-year-old daughter who is used to being the center of their attention.) So in last night’s episode, I was so happy to see Julia losing her mind. Not in a mean way.  But in a relieved, sort of way.  The noise that the children made, the chaos in the morning. She’s trying to juggle everything.  And she’s the type that knows she can.  She can do it all!  Until she can’t.  She has a slight breakdown during breakfast that frenzied morning and she’s been slipping up at work.  So bad that the partners of the firm call her into a meeting in the middle of her son’s baseball game (Gasp! Her leaving the game shocks her large family who all lives close by and happen to have their schedules free to ALL be at this game – that’s the only thing about the show that is hard to believe.  They all get together so much,  so conveniently.  Who knows, maybe that is real but just not my reality since I don’t live close to my family.)  
Anyway, in the meeting they tell her, if you still want to be considered for partner, you’re going to have to give us all of you.  You can see the hurt in her face as she wagers her own identity and goals versus her role as mom.  But she knew, as we all know, you can have it all, just not all at once.  Something has to give.  So she said to them, heartbroken, but knowing she’s made the right decision, “I thought I could do it all...but I can't, not now, anyway.”  

Reality!  So many television shows, even the reality shows, have a hard time trying to get down to the root of what is so real. But Parenthood does it with finesse. I feel happier every  time I watch an episode.  You should tune in!  Relatable brings relief.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall in Colorado

I am totally enamored with the state we live in.  It's hard to explain the wonder of having four seasons to someone who hasn't experienced it, but for me...a person who has lived in states that don't have all the's something special.

I love winter, it reminds me of Washington and growing up.  I love the snow, making snowmen, snow angels and going sledding.  I used to snowmobile, which was a blast.  And of course, wintertime brings some of my favorite holidays.  By the time I'm over winter, it's about time for spring.  It's exciting to start anticipating flowers and warmer weather.  Just when you think you are enjoying the warmer temps, summer hits, and you are having fun at swim lessons and enjoying cocktails at BBQ's.  Then...there's fall.  For those of you who haven't been to Colorado in the fall, it's amazing.

My family and I got to spend a wonderful day up in the mountains where my husbands hunts recently.  I couldn't get as good of pictures this year as last because there was a fire and smoky air, but you'll get the general idea.  The leaves are changing, and it's gorgeous.  The air is cooler, and you can smell it.  Fall has arrived!

I want to personally thank all of our followers, the ones who let us share our lives with you and let me know how much they enjoy (and sometimes don't enjoy! LOL) our posts and our recipes.  Having you to share it with means the world.  Have a fabulous week!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement ~ Quick Skillet Steak w/Onions & Mushrooms

This meal was great.  I've been trying to make new things each week, and my husband absolutely enjoys steak more than any other meat.  The kids love mushrooms, so it was a win-win!


  • 1/2 lb thin cut beef round sandwich steaks
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 4 seconds cooking spray
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Cooked whole grain rice as side, or desired side dish


Slice beef into thin strips. Season with salt, garlic powder and fresh pepper to taste. Heat a large skillet over high heat. When the skillet is very hot, spray with cooking spray and add half of the beef. Cook one minute, then turn steak and cook an additional 30 seconds. Set aside in a large dish.
Spray the skillet again and when it gets hot add the remaining steak, cooking one minute, then turning and cooking 30 seconds more. Add remaining steak to the dish. Return skillet to heat and spray once again with cooking spray; add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook one minute, then turn and cook onions an additional 30 seconds or until onions are golden.
Lower heat to medium and add 1/2 tsp olive oil to the skillet, add mushrooms, salt and pepper and lightly spray the top of the mushrooms with cooking spray. Cook 1 1/2 minutes, then turn mushrooms and cook another minute and a half. Add to dish with steak and onions and stir to combine. Serve over brown rice.  ~Happy Eating Friends! Trina

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement - Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash. I've read a lot about it recently and have been quite intrigued. A vegetable that can pass as spaghetti?  NO WAY!  I mean, I am 1/2 Italian and I just couldn't buy it.  And I'm that girl who refuses to eat low-fat cheese or any other "diety" thing if it tastes bad (and I think low-fat cheese is terrible and unfair!) or doesn't compare to the real thing.  Then a few weeks ago, I found myself staring straight at a spaghetti squash and decided to give it a try.  I was amazed!  It pacified all my cravings for pasta, it was tasty (I BARELY noticed it wasn't pasta) and I was so proud of myself for having mostly vegetables for lunch.  So, I decided to up my game and added it to our dinner menu with a little Parmesan chicken.  And guess what ladies, the hubs loved it too!

Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti Squash
Original Recipe from Against All Grain

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (butterflied and pounded to make 4 thin cutlets)
2 eggs
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs (or a mixture of thyme, rosemary, and parsley)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups pasta sauce
1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese
4 slices Provolone cheese
1 small Spaghetti Squash (Cooked and shred into “spaghetti” strands)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic salt


  1. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix the flour with the Parmesan cheese and spices.
  2. Dip each chicken piece in the eggs, fully coating it, and then toss in the flour mixture until covered.
  3. In a pan over medium high heat, heat the olive oil then pan fry each chicken piece until browned on each side (about 2-3 minutes per side).
  4. Pour 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, and place chicken on top in a single layer. Cover the chicken with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle the Fontina and finish with the Provolone.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Change your oven setting to Broil and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is starting to brown and bubble.
  6. Toss the cooked Spaghetti Squash with the butter and garlic salt, and serve with the chicken.
Buon Appetito!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Your Kiddo Doesn't Like Preschool? Give It Time!

This is my 'oh how sweet it is-my son loves preschool' post. If you read my post back in August after Luke's second day of preschool, you'd see the beauty in that line.  My son LOVES preschool!

You see, this is a tale of IT DOES GET BETTER.  That afternoon mid-summer, was followed by a few weeks of him screaming and crying in the morning begging to stay home because he just didn't like preschool. They won't let me do everything I want to there! Astonishing as it may be for a 3-year-old to get used to having to obey anyone besides his parents.  They're making me sleep! 

I called my mom and my closest friends.  Most assured me that if we just stick with it and were firm about the fact that preschool is a part of his life and there was no way he was getting out of it. Some mentioned how he was just testing us to see if he could get his way and stay home.  A couple tried to convince me that Luke would never nap at school and maybe we should just throw in the towel until Kindergarten.

And, trust me, there were a few morning where his whining would hit a nerve and I'd question paying $295/month just to have him hate it.  But, I stuck with it and after four days off, he woke up one morning and asked if he got to go to preschool today. I answered that he didn't, but he would return the next day - a Tuesday.  He squealed with delight. "Yay! I can't wait to see all of my friends!!"

Here we are four weeks later -

"Hi Leah!" his teacher greets me with her hands on my sons shoulders. "He was so good today, as usual! <<NOTE: as usual>> He's always the first to participate. He's so smart!"

I beam.

"And he is so loving.  Just so kind to all of us and his classmates.  Very social!" She continues.

I beam.

"Mommy, I was a good boy again, today!"

I beam. Then I hug him tightly.

"I know honey, I'm so proud of you! Your teachers are so happy with you!"

The teacher's assistant adds, "and he laid down on his cot and before he knew it, he was fast asleep!"

"He napped, too!" I looked down at my son.  He was beaming.

And home we went.

I know there will be plenty of ups and downs as he grows and our schedules change; but let this be a lesson to all of us that things really do change!

Be patient. Be hopeful. Be positive.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Man Publicly Shames 3-Year-Old Daughter

I’m not sure if you’ve seen the picture of a 3-year old girl on the internet (link to copy below article). ShameHer father put a shame sign around her neck and posted it, thinking he’d be funny by noting it could be used her in her senior yearbook.  While some people, (eh, the sane people!) are calling is terrible, others are disagreeing, arguing it’s discipline.  One news channel’s title says; Cute or Cruel? Cute? Unbelievable!! Discipline?  Seriously people? Let’s call this what it is, and that’s shitty parenting. 
What example are you setting for your child here? That it’s okay for people to publicly shame her.  Make fun of her.  Taunt and ridicule her.  It’s acceptable, because her father would do it.  Nice job daddy, you are really setting up her for a future filled with confidence and prosperity.  Not to mention the damage you are doing regarding the potty training process period. You are supposed to make the entire training-thing a positive experience.  Not a humiliating one.  They are already embarrassed enough when they have an accident.  Isn’t that enough?  They are babies for goodness sakes.  Who cares if they have an accident?  You are supposed to be their parent and love and care for them.  We all are potty trained at some point…why make such a simple offense turn into such a terrible experience?! It’s disgusting! 

Let’s talk about you, the father here.  Don’t tell me you’ve never had one of those moments when you couldn’t make it to the bathroom.  Maybe it was too much spicy food.  And you couldn't hold it.  I know you’ve been there.  Maybe we should have strapped a big sign on your chest, posted your photo all over the internet that you Sh#T yourself.  Maybe you're the one that needs to be humiliated. 

I’m not against discipline people.  What I’m against is abuse.  I’m against treating children poorly.  I’m against inhumane acts against children.  Where do you draw the line? Shaming another human being is unacceptable.  Shaming a child is horrific.
I tear up at the thought of my little girl or sweet baby boy being on the internet to be mocked at.  I don’t care the offense, it absolutely appalls me.  Even if I’m on the softer side, my husband, a firm believer in spanking, would be offended by this. He loves his children and would never, ever do anything to publicly embarrass them, or open the door for others to do the same.

What’s next? Public Lashings as discipline?  Beatings as acceptable?  This is not acceptable.  Somebody, somewhere, needs to do something.  If anything, take her poor face off the internet and give that jerk a good the very least.
We are supposed to be raising our children to be successful; instilling confidence, the ability to trust, forgiveness, humility, respect, love.  How does his actions fall under any of those?  It doesn't!  It’s time to wake up America, we are raising our future here.  We complain about what our world’s coming too, but look at some of the supported parenting tactics! 


Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement~Columbian Steak with Onions & Tomatoes

The appropriate name for this with a sunnyside egg on top is Bistec a Caballo.  I hesitated to put an egg on my husbands, because, it's different.  Shannon doesn't like different usually.  But when I asked him, he surprised me and wanted to try it.  It was delicious!  Serve by itself for a lower carb option, or with whole grain rice for a healthier option, or with mashed potatoes like we did.  Yummy! (Even the kiddos loved the egg! I cooked theirs thoroughly though!)

  • 1-1/2 sirloin tip steak, sliced very thin
  • salt to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • cumin to taste
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin or chopped
  • 1 very large tomato or 2 medium tomatoes, sliced thin or chopped
  • 4 Eggs (or number of people you are serving)
  • Side of your choice, pototoes or rice

  • Directions:
    Season steak with salt and garlic powder. Heat a large frying pan until VERY HOT. Add 2 tsp of oil then half of the steak and cook less than a minute on each side. Set steak aside, add another teaspoon of oil and cook remaining steak. Set aside.

    Reduce heat to medium, add another teaspoon of oil and add the onions.  Cook a minutes, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and cumin and reduce heat to medium-low.

    Add about 1/4 cup of water and simmer a few minutes to create a sauce, add more water if needed and taste adjust seasoning as needed. Return the steak to the pan along with the drippings, combine well and remove from heat.  Serve w/cooked sunnyside egg on top and your side of choice. 

    Happy Eating Friends! ~Trina

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Old Friends and Road Trippin

    I have to say, there's something about going home.  Of course, I've said it in posts before.  You roll into town, you smell those familiar smells, see the familiar sights.  You notice new things too; a business that's now in Mr. Edwards old music shop.  A coffee shop that fills an old vacant rental.  An old building that's sporting a new, bright color of paint.  Home sweet home.

    The 18 hour drive to Washington for labor day weekend went pretty well.  We stopped in Twin Falls, Idaho which is halfway, and the kids did great.  Once we got to Washington, the craziness began.  I'm one of those people that makes friends pretty easily.  Or at least, I used to.  So in my hometown, it's always a madhouse of seeing a thousand people I know I must see, and then missing a thousand more that I wished I could've seen and seem to miss every year.  By the end of the trip, I need a vacation from the vacation.  But, I always have a good time.

    The main purpose of this trip was my friend Laura's 30th birthday.  Anyone who knows Laura knows that she absolutely tops the list of people to party with.  You want to have the most amazing time in your life?  Invite Laura!  She's the one break dancing, getting everyone out on the floor- regardless if they can dance or not, telling jokes that only she can really tell, insisting we need one more shot, or at least, participating in the madness and making what would usually be your run-of-the mill party be the even of the year.  I always beg her, "can drunk Laura come out and play tonight?".  There's even one point on her birthday where she put a stool out on the dance floor and jumped it.  Laura's like 5'' okay.  She jumped a chair!

    Spending the evening with Laura reminded me of how much I miss her!  She's that friend I've had since sixth grade.  She knows me better than anyone.  And everytime we hang up the phone, we can wait for months, and pick right back up where we left off.  There's something about someone who knows you inside and out, someone that when preparing for her birthday party; you can pull out years and years worth of photos and see how you've changed and grown throughout the years, together.

    I was blessed enough to spend time with several friends - old and new.  My friend Julia came up for a night and went to the rodeo with me - even though it was pure torture for her because I'm running around seeing everyone I know from a town I'd grew up in, constantly leaving her by herself.  One of my old besties Kyle came to the rodeo with his wife and I got to hang out with them too.  I can't name everyone - but I saw many people I was excited about - and many I wish I could have spent more time with.

    A friend I've had since gradeschool, Jessica Grigg, came to the rodeo with us as well one night.  She's another one you can pick right up where you left off with and not miss a beat. Back in middle school, we used to go to the rodeo every year on Friday and Saturday night.  We used to listen to Chris Ledoux and dress up in hideously tight wranglers and boots with huge belt buckles and "pre-funk" prior to heading to the rodeo.  After the rodeo, Chris Ledoux had a concert every year and we never missed one.  It's a tradition I miss, even now - years later.  It was fun for us to get to go to the rodeo together and then to have drinks behind the chutes (not having to worry about fake ID's mind you or getting caught by the array of people you've grown up with that know you're entirely too young to be drinking).  And while I got home entirely too late that was an evening I won't forget!

    By the time my kids and I got the strain of cold that was going around and feeling a bit better, it was time to pack up and head home.  Clayton had a a double ear infection (I found out the following monday) and hadn't slept as well as he did at home, so I decided for the first time in my life to drive the full 17-hour drive in one day.

    There's something about when I get determined to do something.  There's not one person in this world who can stop me.  Sure, I'm usually laid back and go with the flow.  But when I want something, watch out...I'll go to all measures to get it.  And, I wanted to be home.  Everyone, including my husband, thought I should stop halfway.  And, I did think about the drive to Washington, and how ready I was by the time I got to Twin Falls, to get out of the car.  But I also knew that I'd set my mind to just that-getting to Twin Falls.

    So I left around 7:00 a.m. or so that Saturday and knew, I'd be driving to Rifle, CO, that night.  And, I did.  With a sick child who had to be double-dosed with medicine, and and exhausted little girl who had done her best to help her mama the entire trip and the drive home with her baby brother.  That Callie-girl, she's special.  It didn't matter how many times Clayton threw his pacifier in a fit of sickly rage, she would calmly unstrap, get down, get it for him, or plug in his TV, or get his toy- whatever to make the poor boy stop crying, then get back in her carseat and strap back in.  We made it home around 2a.m. mountain time and I crashed...after deciding that if I could do that, well...I could do anything I set my mind to.

    While I had a great time and loved every minute of being back home - it was like every trip.  Nice to see everyone, but I'm so glad to get home - my true home.  ~ Trina

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement ~ Turkey & Black Bean Enchiladas

    I just plain love cooking.  But, I truly enjoy trying new recipes.  There's something about cooking something you've never made and it turning out amazing.  Plus, I love cooking healthy dishes, so when I get a combination of delicious and healthy...I'm stoked! Shannon went hunting for an entire week, so I made a meal plan of all mexican and pasta dishes (he likes both, but, if you've followed my posts, you know he prefers meat and potatoes!).  I have one suggestion.  I choose to use wheat tortillas because they are healthier.  But, in enchiladas, white tortillas usually cook better.  These were good, but don't feel bad about substituting white if your hubby prefers it.  

    • 1 lb extra lean ground turkey
    • 15.5 can black beans, drained
    • 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
    • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 cup chopped onion
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1-2 tsp cumin
    • 1/8 tsp chili powder
    • salt
    • 8 (6-inch) low carb whole wheat flour tortillas 
    • 1 cup reduced or non-fat shredded Mexican cheese (I used Fat Free and it was great)
    • nonstick cooking spray
    For the Enchilada Sauce:
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 7.76 oz can of green mexican salsa verde 
    • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
    • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
    • 3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
    • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste


    In a medium saucepan, spray cooking spray and sauté garlic. Add salsa verde, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

    In a large skillet brown the turkey and season with salt. When the turkey is browned,add onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro, green chiles, diced tomatoes, cumin and chili powder. Mix well and simmer on low, covered for 20 minutes. Remove lid and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes to reduce the liquid.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Put 1/2 cup turkey mixture into each tortilla and roll it. Place on baking dish seam side down. Top with enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Top with low fat sour cream, cilantro or scallions if you wish. Makes 8 small enchiladas.

    Happy Eating Friends! ~Trina

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

    The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement - Souflaki Pita Sandwiches

    I've been enjoying this for as long as I can remember!  My parents met and fell in love in Greece while they were both serving in the U.S. Air Force.  It's very simple, and very yummy...especially if you love a good roast, like I do! If you're feeling really creative, make your own tzatziki sauce instead of using sour cream. Or mix a dash or two of lemon juice in your sour cream for a little more flavor.  Click here for more of my mom's recipes or to check out her novels.

    Photo Rights: Magnolia Collection
    Souflaki Pita Sandwiches

    1 rump roast
    2 t salt
    1/4 t pepper
    1 c water
    tomato, sliced
    lettuce, shredded 
    sour cream
    onion, chopped 
    pita bread

    Brown pot roast in 3 T oil. Season with salt & pepper. Add 1 c water to Dutch oven and simmer, covered for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, adding water, if needed. Let roast stand 15 minutes before slicing. Place slices of roast beef in warmed pita bread. Top with onion, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.

    Buon appetito! Leah

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    Are You Still Smoking, Mamacita?

    Even though it's harder and harder to be a smoker these days with all the non-smoking restaurants and bars across the nation, some of you mommas still gotta have one.  Or do you?  Stop the madness! Quit smoking.

    Nursing Your Lungs
    Created by:

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    Fall is Here! Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

    I love this time of year.  The air is cool and crisp, and I enjoy getting out my box of fall decor.  With the straw bales and the plastic pumpkins also comes holiday baking!  Which I love!  This recipe was a HIT at my house.  Shannon said, and I quote him exactly, "these are perfect Trina!".  For those of you who know my picky husband who doesn't give compliments unless they well deserved, this is the ultimate compliment.  I know you will enjoy them.  Oh, and my 2-year-old son also ate several in place of a few meals, I'm pretty sure.  He loved them, too.


    • For The Batter

      • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
      • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
      • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
      • 1/3 cup buttermilk
      • 1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
      • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
      • 2 large eggs
    • For The Sugar Coating

    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups. Make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.
        2. Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack.
        Enjoy! Trina

        Sunday, September 16, 2012

        The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement ~Spicy Stuffed Mushrooms

        Stuffed MushroomsI made these last night for a party, and they are yummo!  I've made them a couple times, and they never fail me!  The kids usually take out the stuffing because it's too spicy, but it's a great appetizer for a party!!  I usually double the recipe for larger groups and have extra filling so be sure and load the mushrooms up!


        • 12 whole fresh mushrooms
        • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
        • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
        • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (use reduced fat if desired, but NOT FAT FREE!)
        • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
        • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
        • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
        • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (Use 1/8 if you don't like too spicy. These are spicy!)


        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.
        2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.
        3. When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.
        4. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

        Happy Eating Friends! ~Trina

        Saturday, September 15, 2012

        The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement - Roasted Zucchini, Corn and Tomatoes

        • As you know, I've been on a Bethenny Frankel kick lately. Here is yet another fabulously healthy recipe straight from her book...which by the way, if you've ever been on a diet and/or been thinking of going on a diet, her book Naturally, Thin is a must-read that will change the way you think about food and dieting.

        • Roasted Zucchini, Corn and Tomatoes
        • 1 clove garlic, minced
        • 1 tablespoon fresh shredded basil
        • 2 medium zucchinis
        • ½ cup pear tomatoes
        • 1 corn on the cob
        1. Cut zucchini into 1 inch pieces.
        2. Cut pear tomatoes in half.
        3. Remove corn from one ear.
        4. Heat nonstick skillet over medium high heat and coat lightly with olive oil.  Add zucchini and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Toss so garlic doesn't burn.
        5. After slightly golden brown, add corn and tomatoes. Cook until zucchini is tender.
        6. Add shredded basil just before serving.

        Buon appetito! Leah

        Tuesday, September 11, 2012

        Dream Catchers

          “Mommy, I had a terrible dream last night.”  Callie looked up at me as she solemnly recounted the dream  filled with witches and monsters, all the while playing with the bubbles in the bathtub.
          “Honey, it’s okay to have bad dreams sometimes,” I encouraged as I scrubbed the soap into her scalp.  Even though they are unpleasant, they are not real and we always wake up.” 
        She closed her eyes as the warm water rinsed her hair.  Her eyes popped open and matter of factly she pointed out:  “Mommy—that dream catcher you gave me doesn’t work!”
          The fascinating part of this story was I’d given her the dream catcher nearly a year earlier, and we’d had only one conversation where I explained its purpose. Native American legend has it that good dreams slip through the web of a dream catcher during the night, and bad dreams become caught in the web and are perished by morning light.   It hung on her bed as a permanent fixture…and I’d still completely forgotten about it and assumed Callie had too.
          I was amazed by the memory of my 3 year-old at the time…and somewhat sad too.  I’d given her something she’d truly counted on and it had let her down.  I now think twice now before making promises of anything that has to do with folklore...or anything else for that matter that I'm not 100% confident in!  ~Trina

        Sunday, September 9, 2012

        The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement ~ Cauliflower Crust Pizza

        I know what you're thinking!  I thought the same thing.  Disgusting.  However, the comments/reviews showed that it was actually quite yummy, and I figured...I'm always up for trying a new pizza recipe, esp one that's lower in carbs and fat than the regular recipe.  A veggie too?  Well heck, you could even call it healthy.  I warned Shannon: this is not pizza.  This is a cauliflower dish.  That way, he wouldn't be mad when it didn't taste like pizza.  Amazingly enough - after his first bite, his response was surprise.  He had three helpings, and asked for me to make it again the next day.  He even said he thought he liked it better than regular pizza crust.  That's what I call a successful meal!


        • 1 cup cooked, smashed/riced cauliflower
        • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (for crust)
        • 1 egg, beaten
        • 1 tsp dried oregano
        • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
        • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
        • pizza sauce
        • olive oil (optional)
        • 1/2 pd lean ground beef (or your choice of meat topping) cooked
        • Tomato sliced
        • Light mix Italian or Cheddar Cheese


        To "Rice" the Cauliflower:
        Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Steam until soft, then mash with potato masher until pieces are tiny, nearly the size of grain rice.  It doesn't matter if you have a few larger chunks.
        One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
        To Make the Pizza Crust:
        Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
        In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
        Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
        Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings (mine was cooked lean ground beef and a tomato) and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).
        *reminder that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.
        Happy Eating Friends!~Trina

        Saturday, September 8, 2012

        The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement - Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Crostini

        I'm making this delicious appetizer for our reunion with Zac's family Monday night.  It's pretty easy to make and so very fabulous!  It's easy to eat while chatting with family or chasing after the kiddos! 

        Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Crostini

        2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
        2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
        1 teaspoon salt
        1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
        1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
        24 slices (1/4-inch thick) French bread baguette
        Nonstick cooking spray
        1 package (4 oz) chèvre (goat) cheese, softened
        1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
        1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or oregano leaves

        1.In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir in onions; cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes.
        2.Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in salt, brown sugar, and vinegar. Cook 30 to 35 minutes longer, stirring every 5 minutes, until onions are deep golden brown (onions will shrink during cooking). Cool slightly.
        3.Heat oven to 325°F. Place bread slices on ungreased cookie sheet; spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Bake 6 to 9 minutes or until crispy.
        4.Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine goat cheese and cream cheese; blending until smooth; set aside.
        5.Place 1 teaspoon caramelized onions onto each bread slice; top with 1 rounded teaspoon cheese mixture. Sprinkle with herbs.

        Wednesday, September 5, 2012

        Holy Competition, Batman!

        "I want the right seat!" And the race begins.  My two sons scramble their little feet to the car shoving and climbing to get to the right seat first.  The right seat. The glorious right seat.

        This declaration made by Luke a few months ago, that the "right seat" was indeed the best seat in the car, became a subtle relief to me.  What's that you say? No more fighting with the kids to get them to the car?  All I have to say as we're leaving the house now?

        "Whoever gets to the car first gets the right seat!" I shout out, keys in hand. I've never seen two kids get dressed and out the door so fast! 

        Oh, but yes, it gets better...

        "Whoever eats ALL their green beans first will be the strongest and the tallest brother!"  And their greens are gone!

        "Let's see who can pick up all the toys the fastest!"  And our living room is clean!

        They're even competing for our attention now.  If Zealand trips over the dog and hurts his elbow, Luke follows behind him crying out, "I just tripped over Yukon too and hurt my elbow too! Kiss me too!"

        And aren't I the luckiest mommy in the world...when one son picks me a flower, my other son rushes to pick two.

        Competition...I think I love you!

        Tuesday, September 4, 2012

        Who Gets Sick on Vacation, Anyway?

        We arrived in Ellensburg, Washington at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.  I was so excited to be out of the car-I ran to the store, bought diapers and a bottle of red wine, which I consumed entirely shortly after.  It was great to sit down in something other than car seats.  The kids ran around like wild hooligans, and my mother and I chatted and caught up. I didn't yet notice the tickle in my throat...

        Friday night I was excited to see two close friends, one of which I don't get to see often and we've been friends since gradeschool.  We took the kids to the rodeo and when they got cold and bored, my mom took them home and we headed out to party behind the chutes.  There's something about seeing old friends, having drinks, and just being in my hometown.  Lots of hugs and smiles and just catching up on who's doing what and who's been where. We didn't get home until 2:00 a.m., where we decided to stay up longer, eat triscuits with melted cheese, dipped in sour cream (in my wilder and wooly days, I used to eat all kinds of crazy stuff after a night out) and talk about the night's events and whatever else was on our mind.  I'm sure this was the night that did me in, the tickle turned into a scratchy throat.  Clayton was up by 6:00 a.m., and I was a zombie.

        We started partying again at noon, my best friend Laura was having her 30th birthday party and a bunch of girls got together to go to the rodeo, then go out and eat, then head to her private party to kick up our heels. Her friend Stasha and I had a few surprises planned; pictures from middle school, wild pictures from recently - just lots of memories for her and everyone to scour while hanging out and celebrating.  Laura is one of those people that's the life of the party, anytime she's around it's a good time, for sure.  I even have a few videos from her birthday that show proof of this...

        After getting home at 2:00 a.m. with a full on sore throat, I knew I was in trouble.  Me, Clay and grandma woke up with a terrible sore throat and stuffy nose.  We didn't even leave the house day #1, and yesterday only left for a few minutes to go grab a bit to eat and take the kids to the park.  Today is recovery day however, and I will be out and about, visiting whoever I can!

        While getting sick on vacation is super frustrating, I must say it was nice to have someone here to help with the kids.  Even though mom was sick too, she was there to help with naptime and getting the kids something to being sick wasn't as hard as usual.  Plus, I got to sit for long enough to watch Mermaids, a show on Animal Planet.  I will tell you this; I'm a believer in mermaids now!  A separate post to follow!

        Sick or not, this vacation is going to be one to go down in the books!  ~Trina

        Sunday, September 2, 2012

        The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement ~ Pineapple Bacon Burgers

        The perfect labor day weekend meal!  Serve with sweet potato fries or pasta or potato salad.  Enjoy! 


        • 2 pounds lean ground beef
        • 1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce
        • 1 (8 ounce) can sliced pineapple
        • 8 slices bacon
        • Whole wheat hamburger buns
        Prepare grill for indirect cooking. In a large bowl, mix together hamburger meat and barbecue sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into 4 large patties. Place a slice of pineapple on top of each. Crisscross 2 bacon strips around each burger, and secure with toothpicks. Brush oil on grate. Place burgers on grill over medium low heat. Cook, covered, until the burger is cooked through. Turn often to avoid burning the bacon.  

        Happy Eating Friends! ~Trina

        Thursday, August 30, 2012

        Read This ONLY If You Are A Mom Who Enjoys Wine!

        Thank you so much for all the videos you sent in!  Now, we need your photos! 

        If you have any pictures-or videos- of your children driving you crazy, throwing a fit, or even being sweet, etc. - we'd like to add those to our video montage!  Please send them by 9/7 to Thanks!!

        You love to drink wine.

        You are a mom.

        You long for just a moment of relaxation and maybe a little fun.


        Inspire other moms to kick back, pour a glass of wine and ESCAPE!

        “How?” you ask.

        Just get a 5 second to 30 second video (SO EASY WITH THAT iPHONE OF YOURS!) of yourself enjoying your favorite go-to after a long day. Whether it’s that tall glass of red or refreshing glass of white. Girls’ night out, book club, bunko (have all the girls in one shot smiling and having a FAB time) or just you and the hubs on the back patio (he’ll gladly take a quickie of you with his phone, Miss Hot Thang!). Just you and your snuggie and The Real Housewives of New York City? No problem! Flip your iPad around and get a snapshot of yourself caressing that glass of vino!

        The team here at Must.Have.Wine. are producing a video montage (set to the Black Eyed Peas song “I Gotta Feeling”) that we are going to post on YouTubeand send to every online Mom Magazine we can reach. Obviously, our hope is that it’ll go viral and thus send millions of people to our website (it’s being redesigned as you read this) so that millions and millions will buy our book Must.Have.Wine. when it is published in mid-October.

        Send your videos or snapshots to Leah at or post in on our Facebook page:

        Just think, if it does go viral and they decide to show the clip on The Today Show, you can tell all your friends and family to look for you, you superstar!


        p.s. Extra bonus points if you are singing along to a part of the Black Eyed Peas song in your video!