Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Smoothie

This smoothie is sooo frickin good!

So yesterday my day started pretty good, I biked for 8miles, ran 3miles on the eliptical, 30more mins on the stair master and then did some more leg workout. I was feeling good so I had a light lunch, but then later on I was starved at work so I ordered a mini-meal and cherry pie from McDs…yeah I know…. So today to make up for it I decided to have something light for breakfast. So I figured a smoothie it is! It’s filling so I won’t be hungry until lunch and it’s soo easy it will take me no time to make it. I know what you are thinking “It’s just a smoothie, how good can it be”? It’s delightful! Sooo creamy, banany, chocolatety and everything else that ends with a ‘y’. But seriously it’s really good! Great for breakfast on the go and your family especially the kids will love it!  I gulped it down in less than 5 mins :) It has 390(est) calories which is perfect for a filling breakfast :) I bet you are just getting sick of all the fruit recipes, but no worries my hubby aka Mr. Picky is coming back on Friday so I have something indulgent in mind for then :) But for now let’s hit the gym. And on that note, Matthew McConaughey totally goes to my gym, ok maybe not but his long-lost twin does! Seriously that guy looks just like him, same wavy hair and eyes and all! Weird…

Anyway here’s the oh-so-easy-breezy “recipe” :)

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 8 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt (or greek yogurt will be great too)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 banana

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. Pour in a glass and garnish with a banana slice and a straw. Enjoy :)

Healthier Fruit Pizza

Fruit pizza where have you been all my life?

Around the blog world I’ve been noticing this trend a lot. Fruit pizza, that seemed as unhealthy as it gets! I mean 2 packages of cream cheese? 2 cans of marshmallow creme? over 1 cup of butter? That’s a little insane… So I decided to make a little bit healthier version of that and I think it turned out pretty damn good! :) Since it’s a rich fruit pizza eating smaller portions is the way to go!

Here’s how I did it :)

Fruit Pizza

1 pizza serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 oz Neufchâtel or fat free cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp marshmallow creme
  • 1 tbsp honey (divided use)
  • Fruit of choice (kiwi, strawberries, blueberries or whatever you want)

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract. On low, slowly start adding the flour baking soda, salt and cinnamon until well combined and dough forms. Put dough in the freezer for 30mins.

Break dough in half and put one half in refrigerated for another use. On a cookie sheet or pizza pan sprayed well with cooking spray, spread dough out to create the shape of a pizza. Bake at 350F for 10-12mins.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and marshmallow creme until fluffy. Add 1/2 tbsp honey. Spread over cooled pizza. Decorate with fruit. Drizzle 1/2 tbsp of honey on top :)

Adapted from Cooking Light

Honey-Berry Yogurt Parfait

I’m soo loving this right now. Simple yet elegant and sooo delicious!

Ok so just dropped off hubby at the airport. He is going to be gone till Friday so that means I get to eat all the fruit I want :) So basically to get in awesome shape I’ll living off mostly fruit for the next couple of days but don’t worry it will still taste ahhmazing! So this morning since I’m about to go to the gym after this and to start my fruit-feast I decided to go with something light yet sooo good! Simplicity at its best! And presentation wise is pretty impressive. So forget about the french toast and make this for breakfast, you will love it and your body will thank you for it :)   I do have a confession to make, the only way I can eat strawberries is drizzled with honey, I think it’s a match made in heaven :)

Here is the simple recipe:

Honey-Berry Yogurt Parfait

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey (divided use)
  • 1 tbsp honey granola
  • 3 strawberries (cut tops off and then cut in half)
  • a small handful of blueberries

Directions:

In a parfait glass or a bowl, mix yogurt with 1 tbsp honey, top with granola. Spread out blueberries and strawberries on top and drizzle with 1/2 tbsp honey.

That’s it!!! How easy was that! Now go and make this and let’s go to the gym :)

Ahhmazing! Tres Leches Cupcakes with Dolce de Leche Buttercream

These are soo awesome!

I’m writing this post from heaven. Currently, I’m enjoying the sunshine on a cloud made out of these cupcakes. They are to.die.for! Soo light, fluffy and moist and just sooo ahhmazing! You have to make them, like right now- and then go run 3miles on the elliptical! You have to! You have to make sure you refrigerate these puppies and they are even better overnight :) Yum-o!

Here’s the recipe:

Tres Leches Cupcakes with Dolce de Leche Buttercream

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (separate the yolks and whites)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (divided use)
  • 8 tsp milk (or 2tbsp + 2tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 8 tsp milk (2tbsp + 2tsp)
  • 1/2 can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
  • Buttercream:
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1/2 can dolce de leche
  • 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar until pale yellow. Add in 8 tsp milk and vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly start adding the flour, baking powder and salt and continue beating until the mixture is just combined. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Fold in the egg whites in the flour batter.  Fill 12 cupcake liners and bake for 16-18 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

In a bowl combine the 8 tsp milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. When the cupcakes have completely cooled, coat each cupcake with some of the milk mixture. The cupcake will slowly start absorbing the milk mixture. Repeat the process 3 times per cupcake, you want them to be really moist! Store in the fridge for 30mins before frosting.

Buttercream: In the bowl of electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy add the dolce de leche and beat to combine. Slowly start adding 1 cup at a time the powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form and the buttercream comes together(about 3 mins) This is not a very stiff buttercream so you want to top each cupcake with a little bit of the buttercream starting in the middle of the cupcake (once it sets the buttercream will spread out a bit to cover the cupcake) top with some colorful sugar :) Make sure to store your cupcakes in the fridge and they get even better with time!

I can just eat the milk mixture with a spoon soo good!

Just had one for breakfast, yum :)

Restaurant Review: Viva Michoacan (Henderson)

Last night, I craved mexican food…bad… So me and hubs decided to go to our favorite mexican restaurant ever! The only place I go for mexican food, yep it’s that good :) (picture below found on google)

Decor: The dining room is bright and warm with nicely set up booths and there is a lot of touches of mexico on the walls, tables and pretty much anywhere else you look (which I love) 4 stars

Food: Magnificent! Can’t beat it! When you sit down they start you off with chips and dips. Their salsa is amazing! It has just the right amount of spice to awake your tastebuds for the rest of the meal and the texture is great. The refried beans are oh-soo-good!

Then they bring out a light and spicy soup. I love the simplicity of it, it’s just broth with noodles and it’s a little spicy soo good!

For the main course we ordered their steak fajitas my favorite :) Their portions are really big so we just shared that. The meat comes sizzling to your table with a plate with of sides and either corn or flour tortillas. The tortillas are made to order and are really good! The sides are rice, guacomole (I hate anything with avocado yuck), refried beans, tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream, it makes for the perfect little wrap :)

Although we didn’t order an appetizer because of the free stuff you get you really don’t need one, but in the past I’ve ordered some appetizers and they were always a hit. Their fried ice cream is ahhmazing!            5 stars

Drinks: I ordered their Strawberry Margarita and it was soo good! The best strawberry margarita I’ve ever had! Yum, I want one for breakfast :)    5 stars

They also have skinny margaritas lol :)

Service: Their service is spectacular! Their servers are great, very quick and always check up on you. They are sooo fast for drink refills! My hubby once even timed them 30sec to get his ice tea refilled! 30seconds!!! I’m dead serious! The whole staff is also extremely nice, helpful and always smiling. And did I mention they have a mariachi band!? Awesome! They are soo talented! They go from table to table asking if you have a request, something romantic something fun :) Love those guys!  5 stars

Price: This restaurant is soo affordable! Since you really don’t need an appetizer (you get the chips+dips and soup= free!) and the entrees are big enough to share my bills are usually in the $20s for two. My drink was $7.50 which is great for a large drink and it was ahhmazing! 5 stars

The verdict: If you want some amazing mexican food and drinks, warm atmosphere and outstanding service this is the place to go! A wonderful restaurant :) Overall: 5 stars

Easy Spicy Tortellini Soup

Although it’s not that cold in Vegas, I love a good hearty soup in the winter and this is Bomb! :)

So after a hardcore workout yesterday, all I wanted was to make something absolutely fab for dinner and take a long shower, but faith had different plans for me…. I was stuck in horrible bumper to bumper traffic for what seemed like an eternity! Usually traffic is not that bad in Vegas, but last night it was just awful! It happened right off the highway, on a one way road, no one was moving and there was NO way out! I was hungry, sweaty, moody, annoyed, whiny, bitchy, restless and my feet were starting to fall asleep, so yeah I really don’t do well in situations like this! So by the time I got out of this nightmare all I wanted was to make something quick, easy and delicious -so I made this. And it was fab!!! Sooo simple yet sooo much flavor! Now this is pretty spicy and the heat slowly creeps up on you so if you can’t handle it you might want to go a little easier on the spices than I did. But it was soo good! Almost like an italian chilli :) YUM!

Here’s the recipe :)

Spicy Tortellini Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 2 cup beef broth
  • 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 oz can corn (drained)
  • 8 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 9 oz tortellini (I used Buitoni Prosciutto and Chicken Tortellini)
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions have softened about 3mins. Add the broth, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, red chilli pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to boil and then simmer, covered, for 30 mins. Bring heat to medium-low and add the tortellini, black beans and corn cook until the tortellini have softened about 10 mins. (you can also cook the tortellini separate if you want and just add them to the pot and simmer for 5mins, but I didn’t feel like washing another pot)  Let cool for about 10mins and serve with grated parmesan cheese.

And there you have it: an easy one pot, throw-together meal that is full of flavor :)

Heavenly Chocolate Bread Pudding

This is to die for!

So tonight after work I didn’t feel like cooking dinner so my sweet hubby aka Mr. Picky brought home some Cane’s chicken. Oh how I love Cane’s! I love that their chicken is always fresh (never frozen), their texas toast is sooo good and their magical sauce is well..magical(I know I’m amazing with words). Anyway, after that I decided I was craving something sweet and decided to make this and it was fabulous! Everything a bread pudding should be: rich, decadent and very chocolaty! Heavenly! It is pretty rich so try to stick to smaller portions. And now I really think I should hit the gym…the eliptical is calling my name…. Oh well, I will just have to workout twice as hard tomorrow to make up for today…yeah right who am I kidding!? Besides, next week my hubby is leaving for a couple of days to go to army training so i will have plenty of time to hit the gym and eat salads :) You really have to make this, it’s sooo good! And top it with a basic vanilla sauce or ice cream, yum!

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups french bread, cubed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp kahlua
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat over to 350F.

On a baking sheet, spread out all of your bread and toast in the oven for 5mins.

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine milk and chocolate chips and mix until chocolate is melted. Turn off the heat and add the sugar, cocoa powder, kahlua and vanilla extract as you whisk after each addition. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Slowly pour the chocolate mixture in the eggs as you continue to stir until everything is combined. Add in your toasted bread and stir the mixture with a spoon to make sure all of the bread is evenly coated. Pour into 4 pre-greased ramekins or custard cups and bake in a water-bath (at 350F) for 40mins. Let cool for about 5 mins before you serve. Top with vanilla sauce or ice cream if desired.

Yum!!!

Fiesta Stuffed Shells

Ahhhmazing!!!

The first time I had this I was at my friend Mary’s house and she made this for dinner and I was hooked! It was sooo good! A week later, I was craving it again and decided to recreate it and it turned out beyond delicious! I just wanted more and More! Darn, there goes my diet…. Anyway, although I don’t know the exact recipe and I changed sooo many things around to fit my taste, I think it turned out even better than the original! (sorry Mary :) ) This is really easy to make, great on a busy weeknight, it has just the right amount of spice and unbelievable flavor! Mr. Picky gave it a rating of 12/10 and he is pretty hard to impress! You have to give it a try-you won’t be sorry!

So here’s this awesome recipe:

Fiesta Stuffed Shells

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 8 oz cream cheese (cut into pieces)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 (15 oz) can corn
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 24 jumbo shells
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 (2.25 oz) can black olives (sliced)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 cup colby and monterey jack cheese (shredded)

Directions:

Cook jumbo shells according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium high heat, brown the ground beef. Drain of excess fat. Add cream cheese and mix well until melted. Turn down the heat to low and add the next 7 ingredients.

In a bowl mix together the salsa and marinara sauce. Grease a 9x13in baking dish and cover the bottom with 1/2 a cup of the sauce. Stuff each shell with beef mixture and place in the baking dish. Top with remaining sauce. Bake at 350F covered for 20 mins. Uncover and top with black olives, tomatoes, and cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5 more mins. Serve with sour cream.

Inspired by: Mary :)

 Make it tonight! I promise your family will love it!!!

Indulge in Breakfast!

So every Sunday will be a breakfast post :)

This is sooo good!

I don’t really care for breakfast. Most of the time I either skip it or just have cereal- nothing special. But this morning I decided to go the extra mile and whip this up. And it was great! You can’t go wrong! French toast stuffed with strawberry cream cheese spread and topped with chocolate sauce- now how can that be bad? Impossible! Chocolate makes everything better :) Although I had to trick my husband aka Mr. Picky into eating it (since he freaks out if I mention strawberries or any other kind of fruit even in the form of preserves) he loved it!

And when it comes to eating strawberries here’s the convo me and Mr. Picky usually have:

Mr. Picky: Why are you eating those?

Me: Because they are delicious.

MrP: No they are not! And they have little zits all over them! Why would you want to eat anything with zits?!

Me: I don’t, it’s just seeds – no biggie!

MrP: Can you like cut the zits off or something they are gross!

Me:  No!!! Just don’t eat them, you are being annoying!

So that’s why we rarely have any fruit in our fridge or vegetables for that matter, he hates them all!

But seriously this is awesome! Make this for breakfast, you have to- you owe it to yourself :)

Stuffed French toast with Chocolate Sauce

Serves 2 (easily multiplied)

For the french toast:

  • 2 (2 inch thick) slices of french bread sliced through the middle to create a little pocket for stuffing(look at image below)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For stuffing:

  • 2 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp strawberry preserves

For chocolate sauce:

  • 2 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk

Directions: In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and preserves. Stuff the bread with the mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Dip both sides of the bread well in the mixture. Over medium heat in a pre-greased pan, cook both sides of your toasts until golden brown. Remove to a serving plate.

In a double broiler (if you don’t have one just fill a bigger pot with water and place a smaller saucepan on top and that will work just fine)over medium heat, combine chocolate and milk and stir until the chocolate is melted.

To serve: Drizzle some chocolate sauce over your french toast and top with some powdered sugar!

Perfect way to start your day :)

Restaurant Review: Stack

So today is about the best steak I’ve ever had!

If I were stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere and I could choose to eat the same thing for the rest of my life it will have to be the steak I had at Stack @Mirage! It was Ahhhmazing and I could never get sick of it! So my husband took me there for my birthday last year and it was absolutely superb. I’ve had a Lot of steak in my life in some of the finest restaurants in Vegas, but this experience wins hands down!  (picture below found on google)

So let’s start with the decor: it’s a very contemporary hardwood design and the way the walls are rippled and appeared stacked on top of each other makes you feel like you are dining in a canyon which was quite interesting. The seating was comfortable and the booths felt pretty private :)                                   4 stars 

The food: This is definitely a surf and turf place! Their menu, although not large, has great choices on it- very modern american bistro. Everything we ordered was beyond amazing! We started off the night with their trio of skewers. You get to sample chicken, beef and pork skewers marinated to perfection and served with lettuce wraps and a wonderful (and strong) peanut sauce! It was a pretty big appetizer(good enough for 2 to share) and the presentation was beautiful! For the main course we ordered their ultimate steak for 2 which was 40oz of meat!!! Oh my! It came with 2 sides of whipped potatoes and 2 different sauces. I’m a sucker for great mashed potatoes and these definitely hit the spot! They were creamy, garlicy, and soo buttery- just wonderful. Probably the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had! But the steak was the star of the night! It came in a big plate all cut up and ready to devour with two exceptionally delicious sauces! It was cooked to perfection- I’ve never been more satisfied with a steak in my life and just thinking back makes me wanna have some right now… I really wished we had dessert but after we were done with all the meat I thought it was impossible for me to consume anything else without exploding,I was sooo stuffed! But next time even if I can’t eat it, I will box something to go as I heard their desserts are to die for and I’m dying to try them :)                                                                                                                 5 stars

Drinks: I had their Raspberry Sin cocktail and it was Ahhmazing! It was pricey even for a Vegas restaurant ($20 for a drink!), but it was bigger than a normal cocktail and the taste was unbelievable! It was very sweet(which is my kinda drink) and the ingredients in it were Balvedere Black Raspberry, Creme de Cassis, Fresh Lemon Sour, & Red Bull served over a cloud of cotton candy! Yes, cotton candy in my drink, how cool is that! So although it was a little expensive it was worth every penny and I will order it again and again!                                 4 stars

Noise: The restaurant  is a little loud, there is a lot of activity going around and the music is playing in the background, overall the noise didn’t bother and it sort of put you in a mood to celebrate which is exactly why were there :)                                                                                                                                             4 stars

Service: Our server was great! He was very friendly and helpful and he was always checking up on us making sure everything was perfect. There also were a lot of runners coming by and food came out pretty quick. The bartender also came to our table to mix my drink which I found entertaining :)                                       5 stars

Price: For the culinary experience, service and atmosphere- it was a great value for the money. Our appetizer was $18 which we shared and our big steak meal for 2 was $94 including sides which I think it’s very reasonable for the quality. The drink threw me off a bit by being $20 but it justified itself by being sinfully delicious! 4.5 stars

The verdict: If you want amazing steak meal in Vegas with great service and up-beat atmosphere this is the place to go! I would come back time and time again!