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