Heeeeeey guys! Happy almost Friday!

I cooked dinner last night. Like, a real dinner. Not putting random blog things on a plate and calling it dinner.

And then I went to Whataburger after the kids were in bed because I am 100% totally absolutely going to eat healthy starting today and I had to have one more burger. And fries. And maybe some Cadbury Crunchie Biscuits. Now I’m ready to be healthy!

I give it 3 days before I’m in the In-N-Out drive thru at midnight.

But whatever.

So anyway, dinner! I made this Cashew Chicken Cassrole for the kids and they loved it! (I had a few bites too and it was definitely delicious.)

Cashew chicken was my go-to Chinese food order in Colorado and I think I had it at least once a month for all 4 years we were there. It was so good there. Packed full of veggies – I mean, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, celery, peppers, and even water chestnuts.

I wanted to make something kind of like that but a little more kid-friendly so I left out the mushrooms and the zucchini (because my kids won’t eat them) but feel free to add them or any other veggie! The sauce is delicious and tastes just like the one from my fave restaurant and my kids loved all the crunchy chow mein noodles and cashews on top.

This is a easy, healthy meal that the whole family will love.

Click for the full recipe


Mexican Rice - an easy and delicious recipe that goes perfectly with tacos, enchiladas, and burritos!

We’ve officially been in Texas for 2 months. 

And that’s nuts. I simultaneously feel like we just got here and that we’ve been here for 10 years. 

Overall, I don’t hate Killeen like everyone said I would. Seriously, everyone I came in contact with told me how bad it would be. I still meet people that tell me that. At my last doctor’s appointment, the doc actually said, “Ugggghhhh, I’m sorry!” when I told him we’d just arrived from Colorado. 

But yeah, I don’t hate it. 

What I do hate (and don’t be mad at me) is the food.

I cannot find a good Mexican place to save my life. We’ve tried every place on the first page of Yelp. 

No. I won’t go back to any of them.

I tried to order a drink at the last one BECAUSE THEY WERE ON THE MENU and they looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Uhhh, we don’t have drinks.”

And I was all, “Waaaaaaaaiiiiiiit a minute, how is it possible to have chips and salsa without a margarita?”

I’m just not into it. I need to venture down to Austin soon but gahhh, who has time to drive anywhere?!

Anyway, I’ve been craving a really good enchilada since we had our last once at our fave Mexican place in the Springs. Last night I finally admitted defeat and made my own. 

I used to make this Mexican Rice recipe once a week years and years ago (had to track down my first blog to find the recipe!) and it was just as good as I remembered. And no, that’s not a pea, it’s a jalapeno.

(Texans, whyyyyy are there peas in your Mexican rice?!)

Mexican Rice - an easy and delicious recipe that goes perfectly with tacos, enchiladas, and burritos!

Click for the full recipe


Bacon Cheeseburger Rice - a family-friendly meal that's ready in less than 20 minutes!

Stay with me here. I promise there’s a reason I put pickles on top of rice. 

But first, I got a Jeep yesterday! Yeah, buying a new car wasn’t really in the plans 4 weeks before we move to Texas but it was either pay a ridiculous amount of money for a new transmission or spend a ridiculous amount of money for a new car. And since my husband’s gone for months at a time and our Durango has been less than reliable recently, we just decided to bite the bullet. 

Plus, I’ve been waiting for my kids to all be out of those annoying ginormous infant seats so I could get rid of my 3-row mom vehicle. (That had a Hemi. And I loved it. But still, it was a total mom car.)

My husband spent the night messing around with it. Like, it was snowing and he was out there in shorts, taking the top off, putting it back on, seeing how it looks this way, and then that way. We’ve just been waiting so long to get a Wrangler so we’re all a little excited. 

So now, pickles on rice? Whaaaaat?

I found this recipe on Pinterest the other day and then immediately added the ingredients to my grocery list. I am obsessed with bacon cheeseburgers lately (#sonotpaleo) and I knew I’d be into it.

It’s instant rice which makes for a really quick meal and then ground beef (or turkey!) with barbecue sauce, a little mustard, and other burger-y things. And then it’s all topped with crispy crumbled bacon and chopped pickles.

I loved it. My kids were all “Ewww! What’s the slimy green things?!” but ummm… there wasn’t a speck left on any of their plates. 

Bacon Cheeseburger Rice - a family-friendly meal that's ready in less than 20 minutes!

Click for the full recipe


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Delicious Bacon and Pineapple Fried Rice featuring Success® Boil-in-Bag Basmati Rice. 

Second post the week, second recipe that starts with “Bacon and…”

I like bacon.

I’m also weirdly into pineapple lately. Remember how early in the summer I was spending $7 bucks 3 times a week on a pound of pre-cut mango? That’s what’s happening with pineapple right now. Except, thankfully, pineapple is a lot cheaper than the mango.

One day I’ll learn to cut fruit. Maybe.

So I wanted to combine my two current favorite foods into another of my favorite foods: fried rice. I know, fried rice with bacon and pineapple? It sounds weird but I dig it.

Before you click away and unsubscribe and all that, it’s not really like the Chinese takeout rice you’re used to. Yes, it is still fried rice but it’s fried in bacon fat and it has no egg in it. Plus, I used Basmati rice which is my favorite kind of rice. It’ slightly nutty and the grains don’t get clumpy on you when they cook. They stay separate and fluffy, which is how I like my rice.

You guys know that rice has been the bane of my existence since we moved to Colorado. I don’t know if it’s the altitude or my stove or what but I have not successfully made a batch of rice since moving here over 3 years ago. Like, it’s so bad that I’ve had to throw out pans. Because ugggghhhh, burnt rice on the bottom of the pan is the worst.

I’ve started using the Success®  Boil-in-Bag Basmati Rice. I love it because it is fool-proof. I’m not even kidding. The bags come pre-portioned in a BPA-free bag so it’s no mess, no measuring and it’s ready in 10 minutes. You literally stick the entire bag in water, bring it to a boil, and remove the entire bag 10 minutes later.

So for this recipe, I made the rice one night, took the entire bag and put it in the fridge overnight. (Fried rice just works better with cold rice.) The next day, the rice was ready to be fried and covered in bacon, still in it’s little bag. No dirty bowls, nothing.

I’m obsessed.

Have you tried the Success® Boil-in-Bag Basmati Rice? 

Click for the full recipe


I think I’ve told you guys this story before but the first time my parents ever trusted me to start dinner before they got home from work, I was making chicken and rice and it was one of those recipes that all cooks in the same dish in the oven. Fail proof, right?

No, I didn’t put water in the rice!

I’m really sensitive when it comes to anything I perceive as a failure so I was absolutely mortified when my dad got home and we realized that I’d messed up.

But you know what, it’s so important for kids to have that experience in the kitchen and to learn from any mistakes made. Research shows that kids who are taught how to cook early on have better eating habits as adults!

Uncle Ben’s has a fun contest happening right now called The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest and if you have a child from kindergarten to 8th grade, make sure you check it out! It’s all about encouraging kids to cook and teaching them healthy eating habits through cooking!

I made this kid-friendly dish in remembrance of that rice that I didn’t put water in 16 or 17 years ago. It’s just like that dish I was trying to make but with broccoli cheese soup mix and bacon wrapped around the chicken! Not only is this the kind of meal my kids love (they’re weirdly obsessed with broccoli), but my 7 year old is the perfect age to help with it! He was able to mix up the rice AND wrap the bacon around the chicken. I just had to help him put it in and get it out of the oven.

He was so proud of himself for basically making an entire meal for the family!

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken and Broccoli Rice


1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed broccoli cheese soup
1 cup water
black pepper
3/4 cup Uncle Ben's white rice
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 - 4 slices of bacon (depending on how many chicken breasts you use)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk together the broccoli cheese soup, water, and black pepper until almost smooth. Stir in rice. Pour into a 9x13-inch pan that has been sprayed with oil.
  3. Wrap each chicken breast in a piece of bacon and nestle into the rice, making sure the bacon ends are tucked under the chicken.
  4. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender. Serve hot.

Cooking with your children makes for a great beginning! Visit

www.unclebens.com and click on The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest page to learn more!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Uncle Ben’s. The opinions and text are all mine.