Fall 2017

Fill Your Tummy Without Emptying Your Bank Account: Four Recipes For College Students

photograph of Mackenzie

By Mackenzie Fauque 

After many years of entering countless baked goods and entrees into the Tri-County Fair, I have dubbed myself a princess (not quite a queen) of the kitchen. Since moving off campus I have really started to enjoy cooking and baking; I even often look forward to coming home and allowing dinner preparation to be a treat not a chore.

That being said I also HATE spending money, so making the weekly trip to the store makes me cringe. My mother once said that I could never spend less than thirty dollars a week and I am sure that today she is shocked when I tell her I usually spend just over $20. Speaking of my mama, she is such a great cook and has really helped me whenever I have questions about what I can substitute and what I can eliminate. I want to share with you some of my favorite recipes that are fairly easy and pretty affordable. Remember that a good cook always cleans up after themselves! Enjoy!


1. Dolled-Up Oatmeal

Photograph of the oatmeal described below with the ingredients around it


The perfect breakfast dish for anyone who is in need of a quick but really delicious and filling breakfast. I eat some variation of this almost everyday. The oatmeal comes in a big 8 pound bucket and lasts me a long while, so my cost per serving is really low.


1/2 cup Wheat Montana 7-Grain Cereal

1 cup of water

2 teaspoons of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of heavy cream or half and half

A pinch of cinnamon

Fruit of any kind (I prefer apples, bananas, or peaches)

sliced up fruit arranged in a rainbow pattern

Make oatmeal as directed and assemble your cute little bowl of yumminess. This meal is the best when accompanied with a cup of hot coffee.


2. Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti 

the spaghetti meal described below

Now I might have scooped part of this idea from fellow Trendsetter Aline, but I put my own twist on it. This recipe is great for leftovers and I usually try to make this on days that I know I need to pack a lunch the next day. This is quick and filling and hands-down the best school night meal.


1 Spaghetti Squash

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Marinara Sauce (personal favorite is tomato basil)

Parmesan for topping


Pre-heat oven to 400. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove all seeds. Feel free not to wash the squash because you will not be eating the outside! After removing all the gunk, place in a glass baking dish drizzle with olive oil and add a generous amount of salt and pepper. Flip over so that the guts of the squash are face down. Cook for thirty to forty minutes or until squash is tender and resemble noodles. The best way to remove the squash is with two forks like you would shredding chicken.

the squash being scraped out with a fork

This is when I would save one half of the squash for the next day. After removing squash top with warm marinara sauce and a little parm and enjoy your spaghetti minus all the carbs.


3. Dill Lemon Garlic Salmon With Asparagus 

the pan of cooked salmon and asparagus

This is one of my new favorites! It is a little bit of a splurge because of the salmon, but it is SOOO good and a fantastic option if you aren’t into chicken. You can totally adjust it to make as many serving as you would like, but I will give you the serving size of 2 salmon filets.

salmon fillets


2 salmon filets

1 lemon

3 medium sized cloves of garlic

1/3 cup of butter ( about 2/3 of a stick); softened

5 sprigs of dill

1 pound of asparagus

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper


Place salmon filets face up and skin down on a glass baking dish. Cut off ends of the pre-washed asparagus and surround filets. Cover asparagus with a little bit of salt and pepper and olive oil.  Combine butter, garlic, half the juice of a lemon, and finely chopped 3 sprigs of dill. Smother 3/4 of the mixture onto the tops of the filets. Microwave the remainder butter spread in the microwave to completely melt. Pour the liquid over the asparagus. Cut other half of lemon and place over filets along with remainder dill. Place in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes or until salmon easily falls apart with the prick of a fork. Cleanup is easy!


4. Lighthouse’s Coconut Cream Pie

the pie

I cannot take credit for this AH-MAZE-ING pie recipe, but I do have to share with you. I grew up going to this little restaurant in Northern Montana called The Lighthouse. It has been years since I have ate there, but I always remember the desserts. My parents never really allowed my sister or I to get desserts at restaurants, but The Lighthouse was one of the only exceptions. They have a killer chocolate and vanilla mud pie, but I start drooling when I even begin to talk about their Coconut Cream Pie. It is the best. My mom (queen of the kitchen) snagged the recipe a few years back so here I am giving you the secrets of a greatest dessert ever. P.S. This can only cost you about six bucks!


1 cup of milk

2 packages of coconut pudding mix

1 1/2 cups of toasted coconut (save 1/4 cup for top)

1/2 tub cool whip

Pie crust


How easy is this? 5 ingredients! I am not really big into making my own pie crusts, so I always buy my own for a couple of bucks. Bake the crust as instructed. Combine milk, coconut pudding mix, and 1 1/4 cups of toasted coconut into a large bowl until fluffy. Place in the pie crust. Next top with cool whip and sprinkle the top with the rest of the toasted coconut. So easy and so good!

a slice of the pie

BONUS: Whipped Cream

the whipped cream in the mixer

If you do not want to buy cool whip and are everything against the artificial whipped cream I love to make my own homemade whipped cream! It’s really quick and it goes great with waffles, oatmeal, pie, or even just to eat!

the ingredients for the whipped cream


Half pint of whipping cream

2 teaspoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Pour all ingredients into a mixing bowl and use either your mixer of anykind (hand or not hand I do not discriminate) to whip it really good! Put mixer on the fastest setting and let it do the magic. Continue mixing until you see in the whipped cream. You want to ensure thickness of the whipped cream. Feel free to adjust this recipe to your liking. I don’t like my whipped cream very sweet, but if you do add more sugar!


I hope you all have a great holiday season and try out some of my favorite recipes that make me feel superior in the kitchen!


Photography by Mackenzie Fauque and Pinterest

Fall 2017

7 Tips for Getting the Most out of Thrift Shopping

It’s no secret that here at Trendsetters at the U we love fashion. However, fashion isn’t all sunshine and rainbows – it gets expensive. Seasonal trends can be limiting, and the clothing manufacturing industry has some serious flaws. That’s where thrift stores come in: you can get a one-of-a-kind piece for a minimal price, and even the chance to support a local charity instead of a huge corporation. Navigating thrift stores can be tricky, so I’ve compiled my top seven tips for getting the most out of thrift shopping.

1. Location is Key

If you can, try to seek out thrift stores in small towns, or industrial areas. Thrift stores in downtown areas can and do have awesome clothes, but as a lot more people shop there, the clothes are picked over by a lot more people. Rural or industrial stores usually have more variety and lower prices. If you’re like me, however, and rely purely on buses and the charity of friends, the Goodwill here in Missoula is massive! If you don’t mind paying a couple extra dollars (seriously, only a couple), it’s definitely worth a visit

2. Wear the Right Clothes

It sounds like a no-brainer, but there’s nothing worse than asking for the fitting room and being informed that there isn’t one – this does happen in smaller stores. When you’re forced to try on items over your own clothes, the best thing to wear is a close-fitting t shirt and leggings with slip on shoes. Which brings us to the next tip…

3. Try On Everything

I cannot stress enough how important this is. Most thrift stores have a no-refunds policy, and while you can always donate clothing back, you won’t get a refund for something that doesn’t fit. Also, sizing varies from brand-to-brand, year-to-year, and country-to country. Even if you think something isn’t your size, give it a try anyway! You never know what hidden gems you might find.

Woman in jeans and yellow dress with a dark pattern over it that has a cut out in the front so that you can see her jeans. Black stilettos complete the outfitwoman in jean shorts, black Converse, white top with lacy detail on top, green cardiganwoman in white off the shoulder top, cuffed capri jeans, platform light brown sandals, denim jacket tied around waist and aviator sunglasses

4. Donate!

It always feels good to give back, and if you have clothes that are in good condition but you just don’t wear anymore, donating them helps second hand stores to stay open and often supports a charity as well. As an added bonus, it also stops you from accumulating a mountain of clothing in your closet!

5. Bring a Friend

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought I’ve fallen in love with something, only for a friend to point out that the colour isn’t for me or it’s just a little bit too oversized. It’s always good to have a second opinion (again, there’s no refunds), even if you ultimately decide that you just love the piece anyway.

Trendsetters, many in Griz attire, holding out full Goodwill bags after a successful thrifting adventure!

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Shop in Other Sections

If you’re a woman, for example, try checking out the men’s or even children’s sections. Nobody’s going to know that the extremely cozy flannel you’re wearing was actually made for a man, and children’s clothes often have fun patterns.

7. Consider Learning How to Sew

This opens up your opportunities endlessly. You love a piece but it’s a little too big or small? Resize it! You like the pattern of a shirt but not the cut? No problem, just alter it to something you like! Having basic sewing skills especially helps if you’re shopping in other sections – and Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration!

Before and after shot of an altered dress. In before shot: the off-white colored dress with buttons down the front is baggy and well past the models knee's, the baggy sleeves hit her just above her elbows. In the after shot, the sleeves have been cuffed up to a more flattering fit, the skirt has been shortened to just above the model's knees and a pocket on the right side has been added. The model has switched from black, old fashioned, kitten heels to more fun and playful red strappy heelsA collage of a oversized shirt being turned into a dress. Photo 1: the oversized shirt on the model. It is a pattern made of marroon, reds, oranges and white and a button up collared shirt. Photo 2: The model wears the shirt with both her arms out of the neck opening, with the sleeves hanging loose below her armpits. She has buttoned the shirt just so that the neckline lays in a sweetheart neckline of sorts. Photo 3: The model ties the loose sleeves around her waist to create a makeshift belt. Photo 4: The model shows her new, more flattering makeshift dress.

Happy shopping!

Hannah Bennet


Photos by McKenna Munden | @kennaphotography and Pinterest