Lemon Bars

When I say these are the BEST lemon bars.. I am dead serious. To be honest, I am not really a lemon person. I love lemons in my tea but as far as lemon flavored items go.. I am not a fan. That being said, I CRAVE THESE LEMON BARS. You eat one and then another and then you look down and the dish is empty. I first was introduced to this recipe in high school and it’s been a staple ever since. I made lemon bars for my book club and all my friends loved them. Don’t hesitate making these. They are inexpensive and so good.



  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 sticks of softened butter


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 lemons to make 1/4 cup of fresh juice
  • 4 TBS of all purpose flour
  • 1 TBS of lemon zest from the peel
  • Confectioners sugar to dust on top when finished


Crust first

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2. Soften the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds

3. Combine butter, 2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix well until the dough is formed.

4. Place the dough in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Even pat it out into one layer.

Bake for 18-20 min.


While the dough is baking make the filling.

1. Combine 4 eggs into the mixer and mix on low for 5-7 seconds.

2. Add the sugar, 4 TBS of flour, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 TBS of lemon zest and mix well.

3. Once the crust is done baking– remove it from the oven.

4. Pour the mixed filling over the crust.

5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and top with sifted powdered sugar. While the bars cool they will set.

Pop them in the fridge if you need to speed it up. Slice into bars and serve!


Three Ingredient Apple Crisp

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Apple crisp is one of my favorite desserts. I really didn’t want to take the time to peel and cut apples and make a homemade crispy topping. I went to the store on a search for an easy apple crisp recipe and I was not disappointed. This three-ingredient recipe ROCKS!!! You can either make your own apples or use canned pie filling. I used “light” pie filling and you couldn’t even tell. It reheats well so it makes for great leftovers! You can’t beat warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream.



  • 1 can of apple pie filling
  • 1/2 Stick of butter
  • Box of apple crisp mix


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Place the can of apple pie filling in a greased baking dish

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  • Combine the boxed mix with a melted stick of butter and mix WELL

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  • Place the crumbly topping evenly over the apple pie filling

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  • Place in the oven for 25 minutes

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  • I turned my broil on high for 1-2 minutes to make it toasty!
  • Enjoy with a BIG scoop of ice cream 🙂

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Pressure Cooked/Crockpot- Healthy White Chicken Chili


I have never made white chicken chili but I have always heard people saying that it is their favorite kind of chili. It reminds me of an enchilada,  I have no idea why but it does. I finally figured out a meal prepping system that works for me. I bought plastic 16oz microwaveable containers to put leftovers or meal that I make for lunch to put them in the freezer. This works out because I can take a container out at 8AM with no icepack by 12 it is still partially frozen so it is kept cold and then I can pop it in the microwave and I have a quick lunch or dinner. Chicken chili sounded easy and like a great option for lunch over the next few weeks. My game plan is to make 3 big meals to put into containers that way I have a variety and am not eating the same thing every day. I hope you enjoy this healthy chicken chili 🙂 It is so good and would be even better with cheddar cheese and avocado on top.

Not my most glamorous picture of white chicken chili..but hey.. it sure tastes good!

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  • 3 cans of great northern beans (drained)
  • 1 16oz jar of salsa verde
  • 1.25 pounds of frozen chicken (if using instant pot) Thawed if using crockpot
  • 1TBS of oregano
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1tsp of garlic powder
  • 1tsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • Sour cream, cheese, and avocado to top if wanted


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Step 1: Combine all ingredients in to a pressure cooker and stir

Step 2: Cook on high pressure for 20 min– when finished perform a quick release and shred the chicken and return to the pot.

Step 3: Top with any additional toppings you would like


CROCKPOT Directions

Step 1: Combine all ingredients into a crockpot (do not use frozen chicken– used thawed chicken)

Step 2: Cook on low for 6-7 hours and high for 3-4



Easiest oven baked crispy chicken fingers

IMG_3087.jpgI am a Cane’s and Slims kind of girl. I crave ranch and chicken fingers. I blame this on chicken finger Friday from my college days. The downfall is that fried chicken is not friendly on the waistline. I was craving a “homey” kind of meal and wanted to come up with a healthier version of chicken fingers. I also love Mac & Cheese. If I was on death row… that is what I would want. A steak, sweet potato, and mac & cheese.  If you are looking for chicken fingers that are healthy and super easy… these are for you 🙂  Y’all I am on the cooking struggle bus. I have been making things but honestly, they have been thrown together weeknight meals that I am too ashamed to share with all of you. I am going to keep trying to post more but my schedule and workload are occupying my life. That shouldn’t be an excuse.. but holy cow I have no time haha. Bare with me as I try to get more diligent at posting “post worthy” recipes and not my “let’s see what I have in my fridge and can whip up for dinner” meals.

Side note: I served my chicken fingers with homemade ranch and Annie’s mac and cheese! Brent wanted buffalo sauce in his so he added some to the ranch and mac and cheese. Not my kind of thing… but hey!

Fun fact: Frozen chicken tenderloins have become my BFF. The get out about a pound at a time and thaw it in the fridge overnight and they are ready for my meal prepping or an easy dinner. Plus… they are way cheaper than buying poultry fresh.


  • 1.5 lbs of chicken tenderloins
  • 2 cups Panko
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbs + 1/2 tbs Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tbs + 1/2 tbs Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp  Paprika (note the measurement change)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 430 Degrees

  1. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray non-stick cooking spray on the sheet
  2. Place 1 cup on panko on a plate
  3. Add 1/2 Tbs of onion powder, garlic powder, 1/2 tsp of paprika and salt and pepper (set aside)
  4. Crack two eggs into a shallow bowl and beat until mixed (set beside the panko plate)
  5. WE WILL BE DOING THESE IN BATCHES to avoid the panko balling up
  6. First batch: Take half of the raw tenderloins and place on a plate
  7. Your line up should be as followed: Raw chicken, eggs, seasoned panko and greased sheet
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  9. Take one tenderloin at a time and dip into the egg mixture to coat the tenderloin
  10. Place the chicken tenderloin on the panko plate and roll it around until all sides are coated
  11. Place on baking sheet and begin the process again
  12. Once the first batch is done you should be almost out of panko– throw away the plate or grab a new plate if not using a disposable plate
  13. Take a new plate and place remaining 1 cup of panko, 1/2 tbs of onion and garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of paprika + salt and pepper.
  14. Begin the process for the last half of the tenderloins

Once all of the chicken is on a greased sheet spray the top of them with the cooking spray.


Pop in the oven for 20 min (flipping them at 10 min)

Once they are thoroughly cooked (no longer pink in the center) you can crisp them up!

** Turn broiler setting on high and brown the tops of the chicken tenders until they look crispy. This should take 3 minutes! Keep an eye on them.

  • While my chicken was cooking I made the Mac & Cheese and ranch for dipping 🙂 IMG_3087.jpg

(20 min) Cheese Tortellini and Vegetable Soup


Brrrrr……. I don’t know about you but here in Northwest Arkansas it has been absolutely frigid. School has started back and I needed a recipe to keep me warm and something that was easy to take to campus. I am not an expert at meal prepping because I really fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to what I am craving for dinner or lunch. I wanted something EASY and yummy, let me tell you… this soup recipe ROCKS.  I put this together in a matter of minutes and have been eating on it for three days and still have a ton of leftovers. Bare with me this semester because it’s going to be a long ride! My goal is to post more and I haven’t quite figured out how to do that just yet with my schedule. It’s definitely going to take me meal planning (die)…. but it’s worth I️t 🙂


  • 8 Cups Vegetable Stock or Chicken Stock
  • 6 oz of Tomato Paste
  • 10 oz Cheese Tortellini (I used marketside brand)
  • 16 oz Bag of frozen veggies (this is for pure convenience people) use fresh if you want to chop for days.. haha
  • Spices: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Parsley, Oregano, Salt, and Pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Heavy Cream


  • Bring Vegetable stock to a boil over medium/high heat


  • Add in tomato paste and mix well- Bring to a low boil


  • Add in your frozen vegetables and keep simmering (5-6 min)


  • Add spices and stir


  • Then add 10 oz of  uncooked cheese tortellini (cook for about 2-4 minutes)


  • Add in cream and then continue to cook for about 3 more minutes.


  • Add more cream if you’d like– I probably added about 1/2 and dash of cream.
  • Salt and pepper to taste!


Louisiana inspired Chicken and Rice

zesty chicken

After the holidays when your fridge is empty and you have eaten literally everything you could ever want over Christmas and to ring in the new year…. you need a detox. At least that is how I am feeling. I am tired of eating out (Cane’s and slims I’m talking about you) and need just a healthy yet hearty dinner. Well, one recipe that comes to mind is one of my weeknight favorites.  Every time I make it I wonder why I don’t make it more. I remember the last time I had this I mentioned to a friend “remind me that I love this and should make it the next time I can’t decide what to have for dinner.” This recipe calls for chili sauce and sometimes I have a hard time finding it. Especially when I go to little Walmart as opposed to big Walmart. My CPG friends are shaking their heads as they read this because that’s how I have always distinguished between the neighborhood Walmart and the supercenter (I know I am not the only one.)  If your grocer doesn’t have chili sauce use 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.  I serve this over brown rice with a side roasted asparagus. You can serve it over any rice you want!

Sidenote: I added Tony C’s seasoning to the tomato sauce to give it some zest –you can add Tony C’s to the chili sauce if you want but if using tomato sauce instead then definitely add it!

(I feel like I should be in Louisiana eating this dish btw)


Yields: 4 servings

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided use
1 cup dry brown rice or any rice of your choosing
2 cups water
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 lb. raw chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14.5-oz.) can low-sodium diced tomatoes
½ cup  chili sauce (Heinz) OR Tomato Sauce (I prefer chili sauce over tomato)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

1. Cook rice according to the bag or box!
2. While rice is cooking, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in another medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add chicken and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
5.  Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, chili or tomato sauce, basil, parsley, and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; gently boil, covered, for 10 minutes. — If you used tomato sauce and not chili then add Tony C’s.
6. Divide rice between four serving plates; top evenly with chicken mixture.


Recipe adapted from Beachbody.com

Creamy Tomato Pressure Cooked Spaghetti (one pot)


I decided to ring in the new year with some PASTAAAAAA. What is better than spaghetti and wine??? Spaghetti that is cooked in 9 minutes with one pot is better than just plain old spaghetti. I have my normal spaghetti recipe down to an art. I cook the meat, brown the onion, pour the wine and make the sauce. I wanted to spice things up a bit and combine everything into one pot which means only one pot that I have to clean. Are you down? Sounds too good to be true huh? Well… it isn’t. If you do not own a pressure cooker, I highly recommend getting one. They are incredible. I have an instant pot that I got a few years ago and it never ceases to amaze me. I sometimes go weeks without cooking in it and then I make one dish and I think to myself “why did I ever stop using this magical machine?”

One thing I did in this recipe that you do not have to do is to cook the noodles in 1 cup of red wine and 1 cup of water. Typically you would just cook them in 2 cups of water (or enough water to cover everything in the pot.) I like red wine in my sauce so that is why I chose to use it to cook the noodles. It does make things tangier and you will need to add salt and sugar.

Also, I love a creamy tomato sauce.  You do not have to make it creamy it’s just a personal preference of mine. Omit the heavy cream if you just want regular tomato sauce.


  • 6 Ounces of Pasta- UNCOOKED
  • 2 Cups of liquid (I did 1 cup red wine, 1 cup water)
  • 1 Jar of high-quality pasta sauce or 23-25 oz of your fave sauce
  • 1 lb of meat (I used extra lean ground beef so there was nothing to drain)
  • 1/2 Large yellow onion
  • 1-2 cloves of minced garlic
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil


  1. Press the Saute button on the instant pot. Pour some olive oil in and begin to brown the meat. Add the onion and garlic while continuing to break up the meat until it is fully cooked (Pink —> brown) IMG_1867.jpg
  2. Add in a jar of pasta sauce and Italian seasoning
  3. Add in the spaghetti noodles (uncooked and broken in half)
  4. Add the two cups of liquid and if you need a little more to cover what you’re cooking– add more!
  5. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and select cancel/off
  6. Make sure the pressure cooker is switched on top to NOT VENTING
  7. Press manual high pressure-  9 min
  8. Once it is finished perform a quick release (switching the vent switch to vent)
  9. Take the lid off and stir
  10. Add in the heavy cream a TBS at a time until you reach desired creaminess 🙂
  11. Add in a 1/2 TBS of sugar (if not cooking in wine you might not want to add that much. Add in 1/2 tsp)– taste and add more if needed
  12. salt to taste

Top with parmesan 🙂