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Monthly Archives: January 2017

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Easiest Dinner Ever

Are you looking for something easy, fast, inexpensive, healthy and delicious to make for dinner? Folks, I have the answer. Motivated by an Instagram comment on my photo of this dinner, the comment read …recipe please. Really? OK. It’s almost too easy and too good to be true. How about this…a bag of frozen chicken breasts, a bag of frozen peas and a jar of Tikka Masala from Aldi’s. That’s it.

All you have to do is in a casserole dish, throw in a bag of frozen peas, and add frozen chicken tenderloins on top of the peas.  All you have left to do is open a jar of Tikka Masala sold at Aldi’s for $1.99 and pour it on top and throw it in the oven.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit how little I do. I add a little water to swish out the ingredients in the jar. I have also purchased and used the Masala sauce at Trader Joe’s. I bake it in the oven for an hour at 375 degrees because I like things really cooked and bubbly. Delicious!

I’m always on the hunt for these sauces at Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s.

I simply pour the sauce over the peas and the chicken.

 

Tikka Masala for dinner! Press here…

 

 

How easy is this? Bake in the oven for 375 for an hour and serve over rice with a salad on the side. Also serve Basmati rice and Naan bread. You get all the flavors by just opening up a jar! A lot uses fresh chicken and cook it on the stove and add green pepper, onion, pineapple and serve it over rice. You can do anything, the key ingredients is the Tikka Masala sauce. It’s the new soup recipes from your grandma!

This is my plate…I should serve the chicken over rice with naan bread on the side…this is the slim down version.

My dear friend and neighbor Pam has a “go to” meal with her laughs and calls her “Chicken surprise”.

It’s just chicken tenders cooked on the stove top in a little oil and salt and pepper. She adds two cans of cream of celery soup (or cream of….whatever!!) and adds a little milk. She doesn’t stop there. Pam adds vegetables and cooked rice. Toss & turn and mix & heat and you have it…chicken surprise!

I have another friend who will just add a jar of salsa to boneless chicken breast in the crock pot. She puts it on low for the day and the comes home and pulls out the tortilla wraps and adds the cooked chicken to some cheese, lettuce and tomatoes for her quick “go to” meal.

It’s my “go-to” meal. It’s so easy. Oh, you can always cook it in the crock-pot too.

Sincerely,

Trish

 

 

Middle School Hero

How did we ever get through middle school? The exclusions, the awkwardness of growing up, and the strong desire to fit in with our peers. How did we as parents ever hold our tounge and not tell off the kids and parents of the kids who hurt our kids? Please refrain! Nothing comes across worse than an angry parent getting involved. Let the kids work it out and you’ll be glad you did. They will be friends again and you can never take back angry words. Friendships are more important than losing your cool.

In the middle school years, the kids are still kids but need to act cool because they are growing up. All they want to do is fit in and being left out of a party or social gathering is very hurtful especially when it’s splashed all over social media. Kids want to dress cool and certainly don’t want public praise. That’s mortifying. Remember, kids this age just want to fit in and not called out on stage. Whoops, we had to make an exception and call out a 7th grader onto the stage.

Colleen in the middle of our family. Parents of Colleen join us to the right. Congratulations!

Our family is so honored and humbled to have an award named after our daughter Natalie that is given to a 7th grader in the Buffalo area Diocese who demonstrates dedication to bring happiness to people through acts of kindness. The first award winner is Colleen Hennessy of Immaculate Conception School of Allegany County.

Most Reverend Richard J Malone, Bishop of Buffalo joins Colleen Hennessy for a photo.

Listen to Colleen.

Colleen could not be more adorable with a big smile and a beautiful essay written by her principal, Mrs. Nora Burdick, that would make her blush. When you meet a gem like this girl, you just want to hold her tight and thank her for making a difference. There were 2 things that jumped out at me that made me think of what she has in common with Natalie. Colleen is described as wise beyond her years and always there for the parish to altar serve. Natalie would also see things that others normally wouldn’t and was always available to altar serve at St. Rose of Lima parish the funerals that would take place during school hours. She enjoyed serving and hearing about the life of the deceased and I look back and think how this gave her wisdom in how fleeting life is and to not waste a moment doing good.  I wonder if Colleen has any idea, or if anyone of us has any idea, how much influence we have on others by all our little actions. Folks, it doesn’t take much…just a simple smile, a little compliment, or asking if you want to join in on a project. Congratulations Colleen. Keep it up. Kindness can change the world.

Sincerely,

Trish

 

 

Advice to a Younger Person

       I was recently at a luncheon with ladies who were all their in 50’s all at different career levels. One thing is for sure, all the ladies were supportive and happy just to take time out to enjoy lunch, and laugh with friends. This is the good stuff in life. Unemployment, divorce, taking care of elderly parents and loss of close family members are a few of the hits that have come along in life. Establishing and cultivating friendships are really important and it was so fascinating to hear how some of the ladies have been friends since diapers and others since their babies have been in diapers. Luncheons are so lovely, I may have to start a lunch club. Please listen to the podcast today to hear all of the ladies at the luncheon their advice to a younger person.

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I would like to offer this advice…

  1. Overlook more and focus on the bigger picture. The bigger picture is to lead a good life and to get to heaven. Don’t waste time arguing about insufficient stuff with a sufficant person. We now say this a lot…would you rather be right or happy? I’d rather laugh and smile and make a joke out of it.

  2. Jealousy is a waste of time. This world is big enough for all of us to fulfill our dreams, have all the money we can make and have all of our children become success stories.

  3. Take more movies of your kids and record their voices. You will be surprised how their voice changes. Keep your kids young and innocent for as long as possible.

  4. Make nutritional dinners and stop thinking that Oreo’s, gummy bears and Cheetos are good for your kids.

  5. Entertain more. Your house will never be perfect.

  6. Faith is crucial. Teach your kids to pray and pray with them before meals and bed. And stick to your beliefs out there!

  7. Love is everything. Say “I love you” more often. Say it over and over. Your greatest legacy is the love you gave this world.

Sincerely,

Trish

Drop the Scorecard

Welcome to January, one of the longest and certainly the coldest month of the year.

During these long days of January chores can become burdens. How often are we adding “scorecards” to our marriages, work relationships, and friendships?

In our home, we all like to walk the dogs on the beautiful sunny days, but when the wind is whipping, the temperatures drop and the days are grey we start up with the “scorecard.” I have been know to exclaim to anyone who wants to listen “It’s your turn to walk them, I walked them twice already today”.

 

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Who wants to walk the dogs when it’s cold out? If you have the ability, be the one!

 

Sincerely, Trish…Because folks, what else matters but love? Listen here.

Poor me. Recently, I heard my friend say..”this is it, I’ve had it with entertaining. I have hosted this person several times and she has never reciprocated. That’s it.” Keeping score. Yikes, made me think, who has invited me places that I have not reciprocated?

Folks, keeping score is petty. There is no such thing as 50/50.  Keeping score holds us back. Keeping score pits person against person. Be on the same team. Be the person who does more and that is your greatest reward. When you invest in your relationships, you invest in love. What else matters? Who cares who empties the dishwasher and hangs up the coats? If you have the ability, do it. You win by giving. Love is an investment. There is nothing out there more important than love.

 

Sincerely,

Trish

 

Happy New Year 2017

Before we get into our new resolutions or goals, it’s important to reflect on the 2016 and give ourselves some credit for things that went well. I pushed myself to entertain more, travel more and celebrate important dates in our lives. I started out having a dinner party a month but once summer hit, so did my motivation. But, I picked up on traveling. The Hotel Hershey, Montreal, Quebec and Bermuda were all part of 2016. Celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary was done in grand style. I’m pushing myself but I know I need to push harder. This blog and podcast also been consistent for over a year now and I want to add improvements to this too!

Today I bring back one of our favorite guests- LIZ!- because she is so bubbly and is a mother of 5 children.  She stays organized despite different schools and activities and is always trying to create fun space in her home to help her children thrive. Lately she has really enjoyed the added lights of the Christmas season and lighting candles at dinner. You’ll have to listen to her list of goals.

 

Liz talks New Year Goals. Press Here.

 

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Liz is always a source of why not you? …and has such a good spirit.

 

My list of resolutions seems to just come so easily for me now. As I try to live each day to become the best I can be, I feel what helps me the most is to trust more. To simply trust in the promises of my faith and believe in the ever after life. I draw so much strength from prayers and quiet reflections. I try to go to daily mass and that helps me so much in drawing closer to our Lord and the saints, especially the Blessed mother.

So for 2017 and beyond…Here is my list.

Eat less

Move more

Play sports

Buy less

Learn more

Complain less

Laugh more

Travel more

Plan a new activity a month

Organize

Worry less

Compare less

and most of all

Trust more

One step at a time, one day at a time.

Sincerely, Trish

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Hug more, Love more, encourage more…all lessons learned from the way Natalie lived.