Archive for July, 2011

July 29, 2011

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend planned. Happy Friday from Colorado!


July 27, 2011

Weeknight Dinner: Grilled Chicken Fajitas

I am always looking for ways to make flavorful and healthy dinners during the week. It is always a challenge when you are busy and don’t feel like cooking at the end of the day, so things that can be prepped ahead of time or quickly are always the answer. I often opt for some semi-homemade options to supplement these meals. This is one that is great because it is easy to prepare and you can do pieces early in the day or right before cooking. Plus, you can throw some additional chicken and veggies in to save for lunches later in the week. I like to take the leftover rice and mix in chopped chicken and veggies for a great easy lunch! By skipping the cheese and sour cream included with lots of Mexican food, you can save lots of calories. This has so much flavor, I didn’t miss it. Enjoy!!


Grilled Chicken Fajitas

1 Pound Chicken Breasts

2 Red Bell Peppers

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 Zucchini

1 Red Onion, Sliced

1 Avocado

2 T Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Mission Fajita Tortillas



3 T Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce

Juice of ½ a Lime

2 T Red Wine Vinegar

1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped

2 Scallions, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to Taste



Near East Spanish Rice

1 Tomato, cubed



365 Organic Refried Beans


Juice of ½ Lime


Salt and Pepper to Taste


Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and coat chicken with the mixture.

Cover the chicken and refrigerate until ready to grill (ideally 30 min – about 10 hours.) Prep the veggies by cleaning them and cutting them into manageable pieces to grill (quarter the peppers and slice the zucchini lengthwise.) Toss the veggies in 1-2 T olive oil and salt and pepper.

Slice the onion and set aside.

Prepare the rice according to the package directions and add chopped tomatoes after about 10 minutes of cooking.

Add 1 T olive oil to a skillet and cook the onions over med-high heat until golden.

Heat the black beans in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through, stirring in the jalapeños, lime juice, and spices. (Black beans do NOT photograph well, but they taste yummy!)

Grill the veggies and the chicken, let rest for a few minutes then slice into strips.

Heat the tortillas and serve immediately.


PS – When Ali got home late after work, she reinvented this by using lettuce in place of the tortillas which looked Fabulous! Gotta love new ideas! Do you have other ways to do fajitas??

July 26, 2011

American Soldier

Ali and Cliffy

This weekend, we had the privilege of thanking a family friend for his service to this great country of ours prior to his deployment to the ‘sandbox.’ Marine Corporal Clifford Goshia is someone we were lucky enough to grow up with, I am so proud to see the man and the Marine that he has become. His incredible sacrifice for our country is what makes America great. He spends his life standing up for our ideals and our people. I would like to thank him (and his family) again for all he and his comrades do for us every day and offer my thoughts and prayers. Thank you Cliffy! Come home to us safe and sound.


July 19, 2011

60 on 60

How do you celebrate your birthday? Maybe with a day off, some relaxation, or dinner out with someone you love? Well that is not my dad’s style… This year, he and his buddy Ken reached a milestone by turning 60. They decided to celebrate by combining their favorite things: friends and golf…lots of golf. Yesterday, they played 60 holes of golf to mark their milestone. For those of you who aren’t golfers, that is A LOT of golf. As a matter of fact, it is 42 holes more than most people ever play in a day. But, they managed to get 5 other guys to take on the endeavor with them (plus a few who came to pace them along the way). Here are some stats for the day:

  • 7 players
  • 60 holes
  • 16.1 miles walked by each player
  • 11 hours and 20 minutes of golf
  • 97 degree high temperature
  • 20 PB&J sandwiches
  • 15 popsicles
  • 12 box lunches
  • Many, many snacks
  • 6 half gallons of iced tea
  • 3 cases of beer
  • 24 Gatorades
  • 1 bottle of tequila in celebration of birdies
  • 120 pounds of ice
  • 6 support golf carts use
  • Too much water to count…

The crew on the first tee

Ken getting things started, Hole #1

The “Dalai Golfma” Rex, age 71!

The young guys representing

Ali the Cart Girl keeping everyone happy and hydrated

A final toast on the 60th hole

Jack wrapping things up with one last tee shot

I am thrilled to report that we had a successful day with fun for all and no major casualties! This event was a huge testament to how golf can bring people together and create life-long friendships. It also shows how staying fit and active can keep you ready for anything life may throw at you. What a great celebration of two wonderful men!! Happy Birthday to Jack and Ken!

Ali, Kelly & Mary

“Stretch, stay limber, and keep golfing!” ~The Dalai Golfma

July 17, 2011

Iced Cappuccino

And they say it can’t be done! Order an iced cappuccino at most espresso shops and they’ll tell you they can’t do it. What? They think you can’t float foam on top…

Here’s how:

Foam some milk, then pour over crushed Ice.

Make two shots of espresso, and pour over the milk. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, cocoa mix.



July 12, 2011

Grilled Tuna with Mango Salsa

Fish is full of all kinds of great nutrients and healthy fats, but sometimes it can be hard to find an interesting way to prepare and serve it. We tend to shop the sales for fish at Whole Foods, whatever seems fresh and is reasonable. This week, tuna steaks were on sale. We used Soy Vay teriyaki sauce to marinate the fish and then grilled it (4-6 minutes per side depending on the thickness and how you like it.) This salsa is a perfect accompaniment to fish. It adds a touch of sweetness and a huge amount of flavor. I think it is just the right amount of heat, but you can adjust the spices to your taste. Ali added lots of things that we just keep around our house and it came out perfect! Enjoy!!

Ali & Kelly

Ali and Kelly’s Mango Salsa

2 Ripe Mangos

1 ½ Ripe Avocados

2 Tomatoes

1 Serrano Chili

1 Green Onion

2 t Pickled Jalapeno Juice

2 t Vinegar

1 t Lime Juice

½ – 1 t Red Chili Flakes

Salt & Pepper

Cube the mango and avocado and add to a bowl. Finely chop the tomatoes, green onion, the chili (including the seeds) and add to the bowl. Gently combine all the ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made a day or two ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

July 7, 2011

Summertime Succotash

As I mentioned in our Americana Steak post, we made succotash as our accompaniment for our fabulous steak. Now, I have been reminded several times, that succotash means lima beans. Lima beans don’t really top my list of favorite foods. It’s not really that I don’t like them, I just haven’t had any great lima beans…so when I saw this recipe, I knew it was right up my alley. The lima beans are replaced with green beans, yum! This was a quick and easy way to switch up our regular vegetable options. We did adjust this recipe a little based on the vegetables we had available. The big changes we made to this were that we threw the corn on the grill before adding it, we left the peppers fresh, and we were lacking zucchini (but I am sure that would be awesome). We left the corn a bit on the underdone side so it wouldn’t be overdone when added to the pan. This was a great way to round out our meal.

One other thing—If you struggle with corn going everywhere when you cut it off the cob, try this little trick. Get out your Bundt pan, yes the one for baking, place the corn cob vertically in the center of the pan and cut the kernels off as you normally would. All of the kernels will fall into the pan, keeping them contained. It is like magic! (Sorry I don’t have photos, I will remember next time!)


Summertime Succotash

Based on the ‘Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook

1 to 1 ½ c green and/or yellow wax beans, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces

2 T olive oil

1 T butter

¾ c minced scallions (white and light green parts only)

1 zucchini, diced

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 ½ c fresh corn kernels

¾ cup corn stock, chicken stock, or fish stock

¼ c heavy whipping cream

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Blanch the beans in boiling salted water for 5-7 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and cook gently for one minute, until slightly soft. Add the zucchini, pepper and corn kernels (reserve if grilled) and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the beans, stock and cream (and corn if grilled) and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the liquid is reduced to a thick, creamy consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

July 5, 2011

Americana Steak

How did you spend America’s birthday? We spent the weekend entertaining our wonderful family who came to town. Our tour included lots of Colorado highlights and classic American activities including golf, baseball, and BBQ. We kicked off the weekend with this fabulous steak that has quickly become a favorite to make for guests. This mustard marinade makes the steak tender and gives it a fabulous flavor while the accompaniments round out the dish. Bonus, you can make the marinade and sauces ahead and leave the steak to soak in the fridge all day. I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but most are pantry items that you will have around. Trust me, this never fails to impress!

We hope you had a HAPPY 4th!


Mustard Steak with Watercress Sauce

Courtesy of the ‘Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook

3 ½ pounds steak (ie- hanger or New York strip)


5 cloves garlic, minced

2 t peeled and minced fresh ginger

¼ c soy sauce

1 T yellow, black, or brown mustard seeds, lightly toasted

2 T Dijon mustard

2 T coarse-grain mustard

¼ c extra virgin olive oil

¼ c sherry vinegar

1 t freshly ground black pepper

½ t salt

Watercress Sauce:

½ c mayonnaise

¼ c sour cream

1 t chopped shallots

2 cloves garlic

½ bunch watercress, coarse stems removed

1 ½ t Dijon mustard

1 t freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Trim any surface fat, and tenderize your steak. Cut into equal size steaks. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Place the steaks in a nonreactive dish, pour the marinade over them, cover, and marinade in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours maximum. If you marinate the longer than 12 hours, the marinade macerates (slightly cooks) the meat enough that it will no longer cook up rare.

To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a food processer or blender and whirl until bright green and pureed to a desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Grill the steaks over medium-hot fire for 3-5 minutes, rotating them a quarter turn to make nice crosshatch grill marks when the meat moves freely and no longer sticks to the grill. Flip the steaks and cook for another 3-5 minutes, again rotating the steaks to make nice grill marks. Let steaks rest for five minutes before serving.

You can either serve whole steaks, or do as we do and slice the steak. Serve with the sauce and our trusty onion jam.

We also served succotash…look out for that later this week!

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