The easiest Mexican rice AKA: Crack Rice (4 ingredients)

Crack rice… I know what you’re thinking. How can rice be really that good? I’ve had Mexican rice at restaurants and I mean it’s okay? Well…. this rice is better than any Mexican restaurant.  It’s addicting. I don’t even have to have this rice with Mexican food. I crave it.. that’s how delicious it is. This recipe originated from my older sister and it had a few more steps and ingredients. I would always beg her to make this.  One night I was making stuffed peppers and wanted to spice of my plain rice but didn’t have all of the original ingredients. I made do.. and I’ll never go back. You get the same recipe with half the steps and ingredients. I’m down…..

With only four ingredients… you can’t go wrong. It’s cheap, easy and INCREDIBLE. 

Ingredients: 

  • Brown rice (I use the 10 minute boil on the stove) 
  • Chicken or vegetable broth (optional) – used for cooking the rice instead of water 
  • Cilantro paste (or fresh cilantro)
  • Jar of salsa (I prefer my brothers salsa medium found at Walmart) ** 1/4 cup of salsa per cup of rice cooked** so three cups would be 3/4 jar etc. 
  • Lime juice 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions:

  • Cook the rice as directed on the box. I like to use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water. 
  • Once cooked drain off any excess liquid.
  • Add the correct amount of salsa per how many cups you make of rice (1/4 cup salsa per 1 cup of cooked rice) and mix well. Do not be afraid to add as much salsa as you like! 
  • Next add in 1/2 tbs per 2 cups of cooked rice of  cilnantro paste (it’s really up to you how much cilantro you like) 
  • Add the juice from one lime or if only making a small serving of rice use half a lime) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

You are ready to serve!!! Yes it’s really that simple 🙂 

XO -AA 

Monster Breakfast Cookies…kid fave!

Back to school already?? Many of you sent your kids off to face another year. Some were celebrating the fact they don’t have to be the #1 source of entertainment while other mom’s like my sister were sending their little one off for the first time! I don’t have kids but I have been a nanny since I was 16 and I know how hard it can be to get everyone out the door. You have to make sure their hair is brushed, teeth are brushed, back packs are ready, lunches packed, snacks ready, jackets on, homework completed, agendas signed and after school sports bags packed and in the trunk. The last thing on your mind is breakfast and it also is one of the meals many kids skip or just don’t eat.

What could be better than a breakfast that is already made ahead of time and is healthy and filling??? nothing. Oh and not to mention your kids will devour them because all they will see are M&M’s and chocolate chips. Little do they know its protein packed with rolled oats and peanut butter to keep their belly’s full until lunch. You also can pack these as an afternoon snack or as part of a lunch. It’s up to you and what makes things easier.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter (I used Jiff natural creamy)
  • 1/4 Cup of pure maple syrup (I like maple grove farms pure maple organic) 
  • 2 Cups of rolled oats (I used great value old fashion oats)
  • 1/3 Cup of dark chocolate chips (I used Hershey chips) it is the healthiest kind of chocolate! 
  • 1/3 Cup of M&M’s – Hershey of course 
  • 1 Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Gather ingredients 
  3. Combine Banana, peanut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup until mixed well.
  4. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and m&m’s
  5. Spoon mounds of mixture onto parchment paper where you want the cookies. Shape the cookies by using your hands to form a round shape. Press gently to make sure they stick together.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

BBryce approved!!!

Enjoy!

XO- AA

Creamy Tomato based Fettuccini with sautéed Kale and Parmesan cheese

Carbs, carbs and more carbs. I feel like I’ve been on a pasta kick lately. Holy cow… this pasta was TDF. Not only is it a 20 minute meal it tastes like it came straight from a gourmet Italian restaurant in Italy. I was looking forward to this meal all week long. If I could pick one thing for you to make this week it would be this recipe.  It’s enough to feed just you with leftovers or your entire family.  CROWD PLEASER people. I’ve got to get off this carb kick but this meal was one for the books 🙂 

Enjoy! 

XO- AA 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 box of pasta (your choice!) 
  • 1 head of kale chopped and washed I bought the pre chopped and washed bag
  • 1-  (23/24)ounce jar of premade pasta sauce (I usually look for one with low sugar) 
  • 1 small container of plain Greek yogurt 
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Dash of Red pepper flakes (optional) 
  • 1 TBS Minced garlic 

Directions: 

  • Saute the kale over medium heat with a TBS of olive oil and garlic. Stir in the red pepper flakes if you like a kick. Sauté until the kale is soft and set aside. 

Pasta- 

  • Cook the pasta with the given directions on the box (I add salt and a tsp or two of olive oil to the boiling water) 

Sauce-

  • Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it simmer while you are cooking the pasta. 
  • When the pasta is fully cooked- drain the pasta and set aside. 
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt container. 

Finallyyyyyyy 

  • In a large bowl combine all ingredients together- cooked pasta, Creamy sauce and kale 🙂 
  • Mix all together and enjoy! Top with shredded parm cheese if you’d like 🙂 

Lightened Up Banana Bread 

I’ve been on a banana kick lately. My go to breakfast has been a banana with peanut butter for about 3 weeks now. Okay.. that sounds a little excessive but it has definitely been 3-4 times a week. My roommate Sam and I usually switch off buying bananas but last week we accidentally bought too many. We got home tonight just wanting to relax and clean up the house a bit, and we were trying to decide what we should do with these overly ripe bananas?! Make banana bread of course! I wasn’t wanting to make something with lots of fat and added sugar so I decided to take a typical banana bread  recipe and put a healthy but delicious spin on it! My house currently smells incredible. I wish I could bottle this scent and put it in a candle.  Next time you have overly ripe bananas make this 🙂 

Ingredients: 

  • ⅓ cup of light extra-virgin olive oil 
  • ½ cup honey 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 ½ large bananas)
  • ¼ cup milk or almond milk 
  • 3 teaspoons of  baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg if you’d like! 
  • 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour (I used regular) 

Nutrition: 112 cals per serving, 1g of fat, 3g protein and 24 carbs (imported into myfitnesspal) serves 15 

    Directions: 

    • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
    • In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk.

    •  Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. 
    • Add the baking powder, salt, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon, and whisk to blend.
    • Last, stir in the flour until its mixed well. There will be some lumps! 


    Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf. 

    Transfer loaf on to a sheet of foil to cool. Slice and serve 🙂 

    Recipe adapted form cookieandkate 

    Crusted Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Creamy Lemon Parmesan pasta 

    Okay… I cannot get enough of this chicken and sometimes you just need a creamy pasta bowl in your life. School and work have been keeping me super busy, so I’m down for a quick week night meal. I’m a foodie at heart and I literally am always thinking about my next meal as is if I never get fed?? I was day dreaming about this pasta today.. If you haven’t seen the original  post of Crusted lemon chicken Parmesan with Asparagus <— here it is!!!!  I used the same recipe for the chicken and added in a fabulous pasta recipe! This is the definition of summer southern comfort food (is that a thing?!) I cannot wait to make this again. The chicken is so versatile you could serve it with roasted veggies, rice, pasta and so much more. 

    Ingredients for the chicken: 

    • 1.5 lbs Boneless skinless chicken tenders 
    • 1/3 cup whole wheat or regular flour
    • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs 
    • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
    • 1 tbs Dried parsley
    • 1/2 tsp Salt
    • 1/2 tsp Pepper
    • 1 tbs Minced garlic
    • 3 tbs Honey
    • 1/4 cup of olive oil 
    • 1 Lemon
    • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder

    Ingredients for the pasta: 

    • 3/4 box of pasta of choice, I used fettuccini 
    •  1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • Juice of two lemons
    • 2 teaspoons of  garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    •  1/2 teaspoon pepper

    Directions for the chicken:

    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or foil, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
    • Set out three shallow bowls. In one bowl, add flour. To the second bowl, combine bread crumbs, 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, dried parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine. In the third bowl, add minced garlic, honey 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and the juice from the 2 lemons, olive oil and stir to combine.
    • Coat in chicken tenders in flour, heavily dredge in garlic lemon mixture, and then coat in the Parmesan panko mixture. Place on prepared sheet pan sprinkle a few dashes of onion powder on the chicken. 

    Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes and remove pan. Flip the tenders to the other side for 10 min until chicken is Cooked through.

    Directions for pasta:

    • Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. 
    • In a medium sized skillet add the heavy whipping cream, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. 
    • Whisk together and cook over medium high heat until it starts to thicken. 
    • Remove from heat and add the pasta to coat in the sauce.

    Top pasta with the chicken tenders on each plate 🙂 

    ENJOY 

    XO- AA 

    Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Asparagus (one pan)

    When life gives you lemons make lemon Parmesan chicken! This recipe has got to be in my top 3. I cannot even describe the flavor.. it’s pure perfection. Not only is this recipe so easy, it’s insanely delicious. I have never made a lemon dish before and was a little skeptical because I don’t like lemon pepper chicken. This tastes nothing like that. It’s sweet, tangy, crunchy and cheesy.  If you’re looking for an easy week night meal that makes great leftovers, then this dish is for you.  If you’re having guests over for dinner,  you will WOW them with this presentation and the flavor. The best part.. it’s a piece of cake. I made this recipe for Brent and I the other night and he absolutely loved it. He said it was one of the best things I’ve ever made. Seriously… go to the store right now and make this for dinner and let me know how much you love it. 


    Ingredients 

    • 1.5 lbs Boneless skinless chicken tenders 
    • 1/3 cup whole wheat or regular flour
    • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs 
    • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
    • 1 tbs Dried parsley
    • 1/2 tsp Salt
    • 1/2 tsp Pepper
    • 1 tbs Minced garlic
    • 3 tbs Honey
    • 1/4 cup of olive oil 
    • 3 Lemons
    • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder 
    • 1 lb Asparagus

    Directions 

    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or foil, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
    • Set out three shallow bowls. In one bowl, add flour. To the second bowl, combine bread crumbs, 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, dried parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine. In the third bowl, add minced garlic, honey 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and the juice from the 2 lemons, olive oil and stir to combine. Remove 4 tablespoons of this mixture and set aside.
    • Coat in chicken tenders in flour, heavily dredge in garlic lemon mixture, and then coat in the Parmesan panko mixture. Place on prepared sheet pan sprinkle a few dashes of onion powder on the chicken. 
    • Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes and remove pan. Flip the tenders to the other side.
    • Wash and trim ends off asparagus, and place the asparagus next to the tenders. Drizzle the reserved lemon sauce over the asparagus. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp onion powder over the asparagus.

    Enjoy 🙂

    Recipe adapted from dashing dish 

    Sopapilla Cheesecake 

    Desserts… where do I even begin!? I am a firm believer that a meal isn’t a meal without something sweet at the end of it. When the waiter asks “Did you save room for dessert?”…you best believe my answer is always a firm YES. This actually is a problem because 1. It’s swimsuit season and 2. I know it’s unhealthy but I can’t stop… and I won’t stop…. (you can’t say I can’t stop with Miley’s jam popping up into your head.. am I right?) 

    Sopapilla cheesecake…. one of the best desserts EVER. People will seriously think you slaved for hours over this bad boy. It’s a hit… crowd favorite.. kid approved.. picky eater turned lover of sopapilla cheesecake kind of recipe.  

    I LOVE IT… especially when it’s warm. People like to chill it and serve it cold but I like it heated and so do my peeps. Either way it rocks 🙂 

    Ingredients 

    • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
    • 2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup honey

    Directions 

    Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray (I use great value butter spray) 

    Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth.


    Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and press the seams together if already semi cut into triangles. Press one piece into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. 


    Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish.

    Then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough. Stir together 3/4 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Dot the mixture over the top of the cheesecake and spread evenly. 


    Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.