Thursday, January 23, 2014

Positively Famished: My Slow-Cooker Chili Recipe

Why Positively Famished? Well, because so many positive things can come from a great meal with friends and/or family and, hey, we get hungry!!


It's winter and cold out (well, here in Utah it is still freezing outside) and what better time to make a big pot of chili? I used to have a different go-to chili recipe that I posted on my old blog, but I changed it up a bit and am now doing it in my Crock-pot. It's really easy and pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. Here it is:

Trinity's Slow-Cooker Chili   


Ingredients:



  • 1 small onion -or- 1/4 cup dried chopped onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup spicy V8 Juice®
  • 1 cup beef broth or beef stock (I prefer stock; it's thicker and makes it a bit more hearty)
  • 6 cans chili beans


Directions:


  1. In a frying pan, brown ground beef with onions and garlic.
  2. Place in slow-cooker.
  3. Add tomato sauce, beef stock, V8 juice, & Worcestershire sauce. Stir.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir.
  5. Add cans of chili beans and stir.
  6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4.
  7. Remove from heat, allow to cool a bit, and enjoy!


Tips:

  • This recipe makes a very big pot of Chili, but it freezes very well if you have a lot of leftovers.
  • Try different bean combinations; red, kidney, or black beans are great options.
  • Top with shredded cheese and sour cream if you like.
  • My hubby likes to top his with salsa.
  • Serve with crackers or corn chips.


Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share? Send it to me and I will feature it on our blog. Better yet, consider doing a guest post with us!


I hope you enjoy your Chili and please let me know what you think!


~Trin

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Sweet Lesson on Patience

I read this story a couple of weeks ago and just KNEW that I had to share it! With all the hustle and bustle and busyness in our lives, always hurrying to get from here to there, I feel that we often times loose site of the important things and forget to slow down and enjoy those little things in life that really matter...


A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes, I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift, I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked. “Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” She asked. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It's nothing,” I told her...”I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.”

“Oh, you're such a good boy.” She said. When we got to the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”..”It's not the shortest way.” I answered quickly. “Oh, I don't mind,” she said. “I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. “I don't have any family left.” She continued in a soft voice, “The doctor says I don't have very long.”...I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she would ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit, staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I'm tired. Let's go now.” We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. “How much do I owe you?” She asked, reaching into her purse. “Nothing.” I said. “You have to make a living.” She answered. “There are other passengers.” I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy.” She said. “Thank you.” I squeezed her hand and then walked into the dim morning light...Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of a closing of a life...

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of the day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run or had honked once and then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


Beautifully said. I have nothing to add...Please feel free to share this touching story...


~Trin 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tips for a Beautiful Life

It's a new year once again and it seems that it's also the time for resolutions and goals, and making positive changes in our lives, so I thought I'd share this list that I found awhile back. I can't really remember where I found it, but I held on to it for whatever reason and I'm glad I did. Now, I'm not saying that you have to do each thing word for word or follow it to a T, or even agree with each and every tip, but I think it is a great guideline for a better year and a healthier/happier life in general. We've all probably seen most of these tips individually, but it's nice to have them in a list. Maybe hang it in our office or somewhere where you'll see it often. It might be a nice pick-me-up when you are having "one of those days" or just need a little reminder...

25 Awesome Tips for a Beautiful Life

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day and while you walk, SMILE. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
3. When you wake up in the morning, pray to ask God's guidance for your purpose today.
4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less manufactured/processed foods.
5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds.
6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things that you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive and the present moment. 
8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out credit card. 
9. Life is not fair, but it is still good.
10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything! 
11. Don't take yourself too seriously. No one else does. 
12. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present. 
14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. 
16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, "In five years, will this matter?"
17. Help the needy. Be generous. Be a giver, not a taker! 
18. What other people think of you is none of your business.
19. Time heals everything. 
20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick, your friends will. Stay in touch!
22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
23. Each night before you go to bed, pray to God and be thankful for what you've accomplished today!
24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed!
25. Share this with everyone on your list to help them lead a happier life!

...Some of these may be easier said than done, but, like I said, it is a great general guideline for making life a little more healthy and stress free. I need to work on many of these myself! Do you have any tips that you would add to the list? Feel free to share! 

Happy New Year, all! I hope it's your best yet!

 ~Trin     

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Positively Famished: No Ordinary Sloppy Joes

"Positively Famished"...Because so many positive things can come from a great meal with friends and/or family...

I decided to share a recipe again this week because it is definitely that time of year where we are having a lot of parties and get-togethers, and what better time to try a new recipe?! This one is also a quick and easy one for those days when you've been busy working, shopping, planning festivities, etc.  

I actually got this recipe from my husband.  It's definitely a different spin on the good ol' Sloppy Joe.  I still make Sloppy Joes with more of a tomato base to them, but this is by far my favorite and usual go-to recipe.  It might sound strange, but it is so good!


No Ordinary Sloppy Joes



Ingredients:
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 10-1/4 oz can chicken gumbo soup
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • hamburger buns
Directions:
  1. Season (if desired) and brown hamburger.
  2. Stir in soup (don't add water), ketchup, and mustard.
  3. Reduce heat to med-low and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and spoon into buns.
  5. Enjoy!
So, there you have it.  Easy right?!  It really is pretty tasty too.  Well, I hope you enjoy your Sloppy Joes and be sure to let me know what you think!

I will probably be MIA the next week or so, spending time with family and enjoying this wonderful time of year, so I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a most wonderful New Year!

Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share?  Well, send it to me and I will feature it on our blog.  Better yet, consider doing a guest post with us!

~Trin

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Positively Famished: Pizza in a Dish

I love to cook and I wanted to start a new series where I shared a favorite recipe with you from time to time. So many positive things can come from a great meal with family and/or friends! Hence the title of the series, "Positively Famished!"... 

I got this recipe online and I don't quite remember where.  Of course, I tweaked it a bit and made it my own, and it has always been a very popular and favorite dish.  Even my son, Tate, loves it and he is extremely picky, so I know that I am definitely on to something when he will eat it and want seconds besides!  This is definitely a twist on the traditional pasta dishes.



Pizza in a Dish





Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of elbow macaroni or your favorite pasta (I like penne)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 (or more) cups spaghetti sauce (any kind will do)
  • 6-8 oz of sliced pepperoni
  • 1 2.25oz can of sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions:
  1. In a medium-sized pot, brown ground beef with onion and garlic.
  2. Add sliced pepperoni and olives, and stir.
  3. Add spaghetti sauce and stir.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir well, and allow to simmer on low.
  5. In the meantime, boil your pasta per package directions.
  6. Drain pasta and stir into meat mixture.
  7. Add shredded cheese to pasta and meat mixture, and stir until melted in.
  8. Remove from heat and serve.
  9. Enjoy!
Tips:
  • You can also add in any of your other favorite pizza toppings like mushrooms, peppers, etc.
  • I like Barilla pastas; they cook to a perfect al dente.
  • I also like Barilla spaghetti sauces, but Ragu is another favorite of mine.
Well, there you have it!  I hope you enjoy your Pizza in a Dish! Let me know how you like it!

Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share?  Well, send it to me and I will feature it on our blog.  Better yet, consider doing a guest post with us!

~Trin

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Put the Glass Down

This post is kind of short and sweet, but I feel it carries a fairly powerful message. I read this fantastic analogy a while back about stress management. We deal with stress in our every-day lives, but this time of year, for various reasons, it can often affect a lot of people a bit more, so I thought it was a great time to share this:



A psychologist walked into a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out range from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed -- incapable of doing anything." 



Remember to put the glass down.

  ~Trin

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Impact We Make

It's that time of year again where we focus on being thankful and kind, and think more about good will toward men, which got me thinking about a post I wrote awhile back

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"You don't get a second chance to make a first impression."
            -Oscar Wilde

I've always believed this quote to be true, but I didn't realize, until very recently, just how true it was for me personally.  I had a classmate from my junior high days contact me the other day (They know who they are) after reading my blog.  They said how junior high was rough for them, but that I was one of the people they could look back on and have a positive memory because I took the time to be a friend and treat them like a normal person.  They said, "It's probably a case of one person having more of an impact than they realize on another."  That really struck a cord with me.  I was incredibly touched and humbled, and then very inspired to write this post. 

"Kindness in ourselves is the honey that blunts the sting of unkindness in another."
   -Walter Savage Landor

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
    -Scott Adams

This person moved away after Junior high and just recently found me on Facebook, and it has been many years since those days, so it is so true that even the smallest of gestures can make a big impact and the impression we make is a lasting one.  The paths we choose to take and the actions we choose to make not only affect us and who we are, but it also affects those whose paths we cross and whose lives we enter, no matter how long or short of a time that may be. 

"Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough."
   -McLeod Bethune

We all need to try to be as patient, as tolerant, as open minded and less judgmental, as thoughtful, and as kind as possible to everyone we meet because we don't know that person's struggles and we don't know just how much of a difference we could make in their lives with the simplest of gestures.  Just a smile can go a very long way.  We also never know where and in what situation we might find the greatest of people and the truest of friends, when our paths might cross again, and the difference they could make in our lives as well...

"Kind hearts are the gardens, kind thoughts are the roots, kind words are the flowers, and kind deeds are the fruits. Take care of your garden and keep out the weeds; fill it with sunshine, kind words, and kind deeds."
    -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It feels wonderful, knowing that I made a difference to a person who was struggling and that this many years later, they still consider me a friend. Don't get me wrong, I can't say that every person I've ever met feels this way; I'm definitely not perfect and have been less than kind to some people in my life, and there are days that my husband and son don't like to be in the same room with me (lol). But, I do try to be a nice person even when I'm having "one of those days" because I do know how it feels to be on the receiving end of harsh judgement and negativity...

"In everything, therefore, treat people the way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
   -Matthew 7:12

It can be hard at times, I know, but I think we should all challenge ourselves to have this giving and kindhearted mindset all year around, not just this time of year alone. How we treat others, I believe, has sort of a "butterfly effect." Giving someone just a simple smile can set a tone to their day and then for the day of those people they come in contact with, just like being rude and negative can do the exact same. Don't be hesitant to do simple and kind gestures and when someone does one for you, pay it forward…


Next Thursday is Thanksgiving, so I'll be taking a bloggie break. So I want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.

~Trin