Quick and Easy Pico de Gallo!

Whether its tacos, burritos or chips pico de gallo makes it better!

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It seems like everyone has their own pico de gallo recipe, everyone has a different spin right? Well, so do I 🙂 This is my go to quick and easy recipe for Spicy Pico!

I really hope you like it!

My kids actually request this on a daily basis, so much so that our online grocery shopping orders always ask if we’d like to add “onions, tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro”!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet onion {I usually by tear free}
  • 4-6 roma tomatoes
  • 1-2 Jalapeno depending on the size {use less or none if you don’t like heat}
  • Cilantro
  • Lime

Make it!

  • Chop onion
  • Chop tomatoes {I like to drain them before I add them to the rest of the ingredients}
  • Finely jalapeno {I leave the seed to make my pico hotter, if you don’t want it as hot discard the seeds before chopping}
  • Coarsely chop cilantro
  • Add all chopped ingredients into a bowl with a lid, a squeeze half a lime in it!
  • Now, add the lid and shake it! This mixes it perfectly and is perfect for storing if you don’t eat it all in one sitting {we usually do unless I double or triple it}

We like to eat our Pico with corn chips, nachos and my favorite family Mexican casserole recipe!

ENJOY! 

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Happily Homemade

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I love cookbooks, probably because one of my all time favorite things to do is cook! I was taught to cook at a very young age and have taught my own children to cook!

Other than trying new recipes one of my favorite things about cook books are the yummy illustrations! There just something about seeing a beautifully photographed recipe! I hope I’m not the only one that feels this way!

When it comes to great recipes and beautiful photographs Happily Homemade does not disappoint at all! This cook book contains 100 deliciously mouth watering recipes for you and your family to enjoy!

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Happily Homemade is broken down in sections:

  • Meet the author, Rachel Schultz
  • Kitchen Tips and Charts
  • Menu Ideas
  • Breakfast
  • Snacks and Appetizers
  • Entrees
  • Sides, Sauces and Seasonings
  • Desserts

So far none of the recipes we have tried have disappointed! Each recipe feeds 3-4 people which is no big deal…I’m the youngest of nine kids…I’m very familiar with doubling and tripling recipes!

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The breakfast croissant sandwich (pg 34) is one of our faves and you can’t go wrong with the banana cake (pg 210)
If you are looking for a new cookbook that is easy to use and has good recipes, then this is the cookbook for you!

Amazon: Cook up some love in your kitchen.

Does the question “What’s for dinner?” fill you with dread? Is the thought of looking for something to cook every day overwhelming? Popular food blogger and Pinterest celebrity Rachel Schultz has you covered in Happily Homemade, with 100 tasty recipes even a beginner can serve with pride.

Reinvigorating familiar dishes with interesting and unexpected flavor combinations, Rachel shares her go-to creations that always get rave reviews. Even with so much variety, Rachel’s approachable recipes include only ingredients you can find at your local grocery store. This gorgeous cookbook includes a photo of every recipe, plus essays and tips from Rachel (and her friends) on hospitality and making life easier in the kitchen.

Happily Homemade is all about celebrating food and joyfully loving others through cooking. Let Rachel show you how easy it can be to bring warmth and delight to everyone at your table by serving something happily homemade.

Thank you to Booklook Bloggers for the opportunity to read and review this book! 

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Banana Nut Muffins

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Hi Friends! Lets talk food {yay!} Do you love banana bread? Banana bread hands-down my most favorite bread however it can be very high calorie and banana bread isn’t the best thing you can eat during a fitness journey. Here’s some great new for all my fellow banana bread lovers… by simply changing some of the ingredients and adding new ones, I have made dare I say the best banana bread I have ever had and you won’t believe how easy it is! It is seriously the easiest recipe and the quickest recipe you will come across

So let’s get into it!

In a large mixing bowl or I use my KitchenAid mixing bowl add 4 to 5 fairly ripened bananas {honestly I use some non ripe one and my bread came out fantastic}

Add one box of cake mix, literally the kind that you can go and buy for a dollar at the grocery store! I have used yellow cake mix, white cake mix and chocolate cake mix…you do what you love! If you want the more traditional banana bread look then the yellow cake mix is the way to go!

Blend together the bananas and the cake mix until your desired consistency {I prefer clumpy}

You can stop here and add your batter to your bread pan or cupcake papers: bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes depending on your oven! OR…you can continue on and add some optional ingredients! Here are my personal favorites…this is where it gets technical 😉

Two handfuls of chocolate chips
Three large handful of chopped walnuts
Two handfuls of Craisins

These are the amount that I like to add but this is such a versatile recipe you can totally play around with it!

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As you can see we made this batch into the most delicious and moist cupcakes EVER!

This is become such a hit in my house that my kids have started asking if they can make banana muffins! They have loved making them the way they want! This is not only a healthier option but it bringing us together in the kitchen yay! The kids have their own recipes like chocolate cake mix and only Raisins, white cake mix and add twice as many chocolate chips, and red velvet cake mix nuts and chocolate chips. With this batter ‘base’ recipe the possibilities are endless and so much healthier!

Not a fan of bananas? Heres another awesome quick cake mix recipe {my moms personal favorite} Pick your cake, white, yellow cake, chocolate cake etc. and add a regular size can of pumpkin purée mix it together add it to your bread pan or cupcake papers bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes and you will have the most delicious pumpkin muffins ever. Just as with the banana bread the optional add-ins that I mentioned above go fantastic with this recipe as well! Yuuuummmmm there is nothing like a chocolate pumpkin chocolate chip muffin!

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I hope that you will really enjoy these recipes! Now head to kitchen make some deliciousness!

Do you have a cake mix recipe that you want to share! I’d love to hear the way that you all use your cake mixes!

(I’m in no way claiming that I created this concept or idea because I did not. This concept was given to me by my mom who has done this since the 70’s and my very health conscious cousin who was given it by somebody else, who was given it from somebody else and so on)

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The Homegrown Collective GREENBOX {Review}

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Since I started doing product reviews in late 2009 I have received a lot of really cool stuff. Honestly I never thought I would have that ‘one’ that was the my favorite….that was until my awesome friend Mitchell sent me a Homegrown Collective GREENBOX! Now I hands down have an all time FAVORITE! If you haven’t heard of Homegrown Collective you are truly missing out on something AMAZING! Do you want to live a more local, self-sustaining, and eco-conscious life style? Do you want all those things and more delivered to your front door? The Homegrown Collective GREENBOX is totally for you!

You might be asking your self: What is Homegrown Collective? What is a GREENBOX? Well let me show you my little grasshopper!

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“The Homegrown Collective is an invitation to be a part of the growing overall collective of people who are looking to shift their lifestyle to a more local, self-sustaining, and eco-conscious way of living. It is a new way to help you connect with the seasons and our goal is to provide you with tools to get the most out of the HOME that you have and help put you on the path to growing the HOME that you want.” {from the Homegrown Collective Website}

greenbox-homegrown-773735_630x210 copyWhat inspired Homegrown Collective?

“Having trouble finding my own trusted source that not only vetted green and sustainable vendors, artisans and small businesses but also made them accessible, we felt that the eco-friendly and sustainable consumer landscape was very disparate, confusing and a little bit intimidating for the “green-curious”. So, there is a void that we need to fill. We are providing a road map, some direction, products that people can trust and a community to go to for questions to be answered and stories to be shared. While solving some of these issues, we strive to provide a great experience that is useful, comfortable, educational and fun.” {from the Homegrown Collective Website}

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What’s a GREENBOX and how does it work?

Starting at $39 a month the GREENBOX is probably the coolest thing I have ever received! Each month members will receive an amazing box containing natural and organic things {each box varies by season} that will help you achieve the health life style and home you want.  My box was the August Box “Super-foods, Anti-oxidants & De-toxifiers” and let me tell you it was AMAZING! I hadn’t really formed an expectation before I got my box, but when it arrived I was floored by the awesome items and the quality items that filled the box!

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The August Box was chalked full of awesome super foods:

  • Green Tea
  • Pomegranates
  • Cacao
  • Alfalfa Seeds

It also had:

  • 100% Organic Lavendar buds
  • Magnesium Sulfate
  • Cypress Flaked Finishing Salt
  • 16oz. Ball Jar

“but why? what’s the point?” You might be asking your self! Well, wanna Detoxify your body? Combine the Magnesium Sulfate with the Lavender & Green Tea and you have an amazing Bath Bomb! How about combing the Alfalfa seeds and ball jar to grow your own sprouts? Well look at that…that’s a superfood!IMG_0976 I have to be honest my MOST FAVORITE part of this months GREENBOX was the “Wonder Cups” IMG_0972Seriously people…AMAZING! Pomegranates + Cacao topped with Cypress Flaked Finishing Salt it like magic deliciousness in a little cup!

GREENBOX takes the guess-work out of creating all kinds of cool, healthy and sustainable things! Don’t believe me? Check out the amazing “past boxes! If I could go back in time I would snatch up July “The Beauty of Coconut” –  January “Home Remedies and Cure Alls” –  and April “Olives and Herbs and Candles , OH MY!”

I want to give a SUPER HUGE shout out “thank you” to Mitchell of Homegrown Collective! Thank you so much…I’m hooked!

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Now it’s your turn to get your GREENBOX! Don’t forget to connect with The Homegrown Collective on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST and their BLOG!!

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Bento for the Littles {Dino Bites}

I’m still waiting on a really fun BentoUSA order…alas until it comes I must fend for myself! Ok, seriously you don’t need anything super special to create fun Bento boxes! Since I started bento-ing I found all my cookie cutter…and there are A LOT! They range from very large to thumb print size. We have tons of different themes too. Flowers, christmas {of course}, fall, Halloween, trains, cars and so on!

This Dino bento was REALLY easy! I actually FINALLY found the dinosaur cutter yesterday! I was so excited to use it! My boys loved this box…the salad made a perfect jungle and the avocado spears acted as trees 🙂 Topped off with some chips and banana! It was a hit!

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Today I am headed to a few local stores in search for some bento-y stuff! I can’t wait to see what I find!

Until then here are a few tricks of the Bento trade that I personally love and want…

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Sandwich Cutter – Man oh man the possibilities are endless! I’m waiting on this very set to arrive {hopefully this weekend or early next week} I have so many fun ideas to try!

Egg Mold – Make fun hard boiled eggs! I cannot wait to get some of these!

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Silicone Mold – perfect for cakes, chocolates and frozen yogurt! I have a fun flower one and want to get a dog or bear one next

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EasyLunchBoxes – One of my ABSOLUTE favorites! perfect three compartment box

 

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Pineapple Bento Box – I just want this!

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EasyLunchBoxes Review and Giveaway!

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THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED!

We started Bento -ing awhile ago and our family fell in love! We love bento boxes and there are so many different kinds…they are  kinda like potato chips…you can’t just have one! I’m absolutely in love with EasyLunchBoxes! We use them for all the littles meals, seriously breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! The kids love them too! After getting our first set of 4 I decided we needed more! They are so convenient and the size is perfect!

I received the lovely bright set of four with a purple insulated lunch bag {if you know me personally, you know that the purple was not by accident nor are you surprised!} from the Lovely Kelly Lester {the smarty pants mama behind EasyLunchBoxes} From the moment I opened the package I was in love! When it comes to kids and lunch boxes/bento boxes…well…this isn’t my first rodeo! I defiantly knew what I wanted…IMG_3793

  • STURDY STURDY STURDY
  • Tight Fitting Lid
  • Stackable
  • Easy Clean up
  • A Container with a bag it actually fit in {for when where are out and about or on Homelink days}

EasyLunchBoxes EXCEEDED my expectations! First of all they are 100% stackable the containers and the lids all fit together making one perfect little package! That “perfect little package”

fits, well…perfectly in the insulated lunch bag thus making storage super easy! The actual container its self is really sturdy! These are not like those flimsy plastic containers deli meat comes in….these are the real deal!

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Same thing goes for the lids…sturdy! Three of the filled containers with the lids fit in the insulated lunch bag, which is totally ideal for us! {psst, between you and me…I’m going to be placing an order for a set in the “classic” colors, one set of the mini dippers and another insulated lunch bag…my oldest has requested orange!}

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EasyLunchBoxes are hands down my go to! They are the perfect size for breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks! They container in broken into three compartments the first one is roughly sandwich sized, the second one is perfect for chips, fries, fruits, veggies…just pick your favorite side and go, the third is the smallest of the three and perfect for jello, pudding, applesauce and dips! EasyLunchBoxes are the PERFECT accompaniment to all our Bento gear! Are you a fellow Bento – er  you NEED EasyLunchBoxes! Please note that although EasyLunchBoxes do seal and keep your food safe they are not leak proof…so be sure if you are packing dips or sauces grab yourself some little dippers! IMG_0908

And I’m not the only one who loves EasyLunchboxes! They are the #1 best-selling lunch boxes on Amazon!

EasyLunchboxes are perfect for every appetite! I have one child that loves to eat, one that hates to eat, and one that in right in the middle…However they all LOVE eating when it is served in their EasyLunchBoxes!

If you are not the proud owner of EasyLunchBoxes then I can only imagine that to a ready to get some of your very own!! Don’t worry Kelly at EasyLunchBoxes has given me the awesome opportunity to give one of YOU a set of 4 boxes and a cooler bag! You get to choose from the Classic lid colors or the new Brights {that’s what I have} and you get to choose your cooler bag color! YAY!

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EasyLunchBoxes Giveaway will run from Thursday September, 5  2013 –  Saturday September 14, 2013.

One winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter. The winner will be contacted September 15, 2013 via email.

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And keep an eye out for my brand new series coming this week…

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Menu Plan Monday | Dinners January 7th – January 13th

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Here we are at the start of the new year!! All back into the swing of things….or at least for the most part!

Whats on the Dinner Menu this week?

Monday:

Chicken Marsala

Tuesday:

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

Wednesday:

Slow Cooker Meatballs

super quick and easy : {our family way} one jar chili sauce, half jar grape jelly, 20-30 meatballs. Combine in slow cooker on low until you what to eat! So delicious and easy. Serve with rolls and salad! YUMMY!

Thursday:

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Friday:

Breakfast

Eggs, baked potato wedges with onions, and bacon

Saturday:

Left Overs: Chicken & Avocato Croissant Snadwiches {Family Favorite!}

Sunday:

Pot Roast and Mashed Potatoes

What’s are you cooking this week? I’d love to hear!!

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature.

Smiles and Blessings