Dinner idea: Easy 5 Ingredient Mexican Stuffed Shells.

If you ever find yourself wanting a quick, delicious dinner after a long day of work or day of errands, then I have the perfect idea for you! A simple, five ingredient Mexican inspired meal that never dissapoints. This pasta bake is made with jumbo shells, ground beef, cheese, taco seasoning and salsa! (YUM!).

As someone who loves to eat but hates the time it takes to cook a dinner after a long day, this recipe can be done in advanced or baked after work and ready to eat in just 30 minutes 🙂

Let’s cook dinner!

What you’ll need:

  • Jumbo shells (1 box)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Mexican shredded cheese
  • Salsa of choice

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 deg.

Step 2: Boil water in pot on stove. Add in shells and cook according to box directions. (i.e. I used everyday essentials shells which cook for 9 minutes). Drain shells and set aside.

Step 3: In a pan, brown ground beef and add in taco seasoning. Once browned, add in salsa and mix.

Step 4: In a 9 x 13 pan, arrange noodles along bottom of the pan.

Step 5: Spread browned beef/salsa mixture over the shells. Top with shredded cheese.

Step 6: Bake 15 minutes.

Step 7: Remove from oven, divide into plates and ENJOY!

Easy 5 Ingredient Dinner idea: Mexican stuffed shells.

Recipe by Jaime CanadaCourse: Uncategorized
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

400

kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 1 packet taco seasoning

  • 1 box jumbo shells

  • 1 1/2 cup salsa

  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 deg.
  • Boil water in pot on stove. Add in shells and cook according to box directions. Drain shells and set aside.
  • In a 9 x 13 pan, arrange noodles along Bottom of the pan
  • Spread browned beef/salsa mixture over the shells. Top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven, divide onto plates, and ENJOY!

Notes

  • Cheese and salsa options can be switched based on preferences 🙂

Optional toppings:

To top off this delicious Mexican recipe feel free to add additional toppings such as pico, guacamoles, onions pepper or anything that comes to mind 🙂 You might even want to try out a refreshing drink to pair it with.

I hope you enjoy this easy dinner and that it makes your meal prep much less stressful- You can store left overs for up to a week or even freeze for another time!

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Metro Detroit food review: Crumbl Cookies in Royal Oak, Michigan- Trying the flavors of the week

How the cookie crumbl(e)s… in Metro Detroit

After hearing so much hype over Crumbl cookie’s, I finally got my chance to try them out for myself. Recently a new Metro Detroit location opened near me in Royal Oak, MI, which made giving these cookies a try much easier! I ordered 4 flavors of the week which are switched over every start of the week and decided to see which one was the best. Here are my thoughts:

Flavor one: Carrot Cake

A carrot cake dream! This cookie tastes more like a wonderful bite of cake but I was not mad about it. I ended up trying the carrot cake flavor as my Easter dinner dessert and it did not disappoint. 100% tasted like a piece of carrot cake and I would rate it about 8.5/10.

Flavor two: Cookies and Cream

Okay who doesn’t love a good cookie & creme treat? I think this cookie has great presentation and tasted good but could have used a little more creme flavor to balance out the chocolate. Would eat again so I give it a 7.5/10.

Flavor three: Peanut Butter Muddy buddies

Whether you’ve made your own version of muddy buddies or love the Chex mix varieties, this cookie does the PERFECT job smiling the sweet taste of their peanut butter variety. I initially did not think this would be a top choice but I rate this one 9/10 for its perfect mix of flavors and exact replicated muddy buddy taste!

Flavor four: Milk chocolate chip

The last flavor of the week was lemon bar but unfortunately it was sold out, so I ended up ordered a milk chocolate chip cookie which is one of the flavors offered each week. A true staple, I give this one a 8/10 and would eat everyday with my lunch (or for lunch honestly).

Overall I had a great experience trying out the flavor’s of the week and would recommended trying out a Crumbl location whether your in Metro Detroit or another area! Perfect to bring to a gathering or for a fun night in! I can’t wait to try the new flavors & hope you are inspired to do the same. Check out other local food recs here 🙂

xoxo- Jaime

@mydaybyjay

Best places to go in Metro Detroit for your birthday

Whether you admit it or not, birthdays can be one of the most exciting times of the year & finding the perfect way to spend your birthday or planning someone else’s can be a bit stressful. Hopefully this guide will break down some of the best places to visit in Metro Detroit for a weekend of celebrating. (All opinions are my own).

Brunches to try in Metro Detroit

What better way to fuel up for a busy day of celebration than a delicious brunch? Here are some of my favorite go-to brunches in Metro Detroit that make the perfect start to a birthday weekend:

220 Merrill: if you’re looking for an upscale brunch experience with menu options like sweet and spicy calamari or french toast platters, 220 Merrill in Birmingham is the perfect choice. Brunch menu is offered Sat & Sun (11am-3pm).

Bobcat Bonnie’s: A Ferndale Michigan favorite, Bobcat Bonnie’s offers such a fun and creative atmosphere and the food is to die for. When I tell you it has the best French toast of my life, I mean it! Check out brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm.

Cafe Muse: The first brunch spot I ever tried in Royal Oak & I’ve been going back since! From the stuffed french toast to the mango bellini’s, this place never disappoints. Enjoy brunch here every Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am-2pm.

Birthday Dinner in Royal Oak

Bigalora Cucina: located just on the outskirts of downtown royal oak, this Italian gem is worth trying for any special occasion. We tried out the potato croquettes, bacco sausage pizza, and the Bigalora spritz- so good! Weekend hours include Friday – Saturday, 11am – 10pm and Sunday 12pm-9pm.

Pinky’s Roof top: Not going to lie, Pinky’s is the most extra and I’m all about it. From the glass chandeliers to cotton candy desserts this place is a dream come true with the cutest drink options and delicious appetizers to share! Open weekends from 4pm to 1am.

Where to find activities

Top Golf: whether you love to golf or you’ve never touched a golf club, this place is an absolute blast! Top golf in Auburn Hills offers 3 levels of bays with various golf games for all levels. They offer food & drink options and are open Sunday-Thursday 10am-11pm and Friday & Saturday 10am-12am.

Detroit Axe: hear me out… throwing axes is actually so much fun and less dangerous than it sounds. Either reserve a lane or choose to walk in with up to 8 people in a group. You will be assigned an instructor who will give you tips and tricks during the practice round so you’re ready when the big competition comes along! Open Friday and Saturday from 4pm-12 am and Sunday 4pm-9pm.

Don’t skip dessert!

Birthday cake: I was obsessed with the cake I ordered for my Boyfriend’s 30th birthday from Venla’s cake shop. Venla’s offers adorable, customizable layer cakes offering local delivery to the Metro Detroit area.

The morning after…coffee, coffee, coffee

Sabbath Coffee Roasters: My absolute favorite coffee shop located in Clawson, Mi never disappoints. Stop in to try their fresh ground coffee or creative speciality drinks. Need a little sugar boost? Try out Cannelle croissants and Dooped donuts available on weekends. Sabbath is open everyday from 7am-4pm.

Royal Oak Roast: from the aesthetic of the coffee shop to printable latte art, this cafe offers fun and creative drinks and delicious breakfast options. Located in the Griffen Apartments near downtown, check out Roast daily from 7am-7pm.

Cheers!

Hope you enjoyed the read and have gained a few ideas for your next birthday celebration or any occasion! All of these places are wonderful and worth trying out at some point when visiting the metro Detroit area!

XOXO, Jaime (@mydaybyjay)

Parisian-inspired coffee shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan 

A quick trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan yesterday called for trying a latte at The Bradbury Cafe. Located inside in the gorgeous Stoffer Home on Wealthy Street, this cafe has dreamy decor and drinks. You don’t even have to be a coffee lover to enjoy your time here!

This place is truly a Grand Rapids hidden gem and the ambiance in of intimate coffee shop is amazing (I want to live there). I ordered a whole milk latte, which was so delicious + how good is this latte art? Aside from a latte, they also offer many other coffee drinks and tea including:

  • Espresso
  • Americano
  • Cortado
  • Flat white latte
  • Latte
  • Matcha Latte
  • Espresso Tonic
  • Iced tea

The Bradbury Cafe would make the perfect spot for a study session, chatting up with a friend over a cup of coffee, or just for an excuse to get dressed up and take photos. Once I start school back up this summer I will definitely be coming back for more coffee when visiting my family in Grand Rapids on the weekends!

Other places in the area you might want to check out on Wealthy Street include:

  • Donkey Taqueria: my favorite restaurant for delicious Mexican food for their infamous prickly pear margaritas.
  • Royals: If you’re staying for the weekend, be sure to stop and grab some brunch at Royals GR- they have delicious giant cinnamon rolls and delicious eggs Benedict.

SO many place to check out in the area but the Bradbury Cafe is a must-try if you’re in the East Grand Rapid area!

XOXO Jaime @mydaybyjay

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New name, same blog! Life recently as a new PTA graduate & what’s to come on the blog 🤍

Now you might be thinking…okay, why the new name?

Well, when I first launched my blog and socials for pta_jay I was just beginning my journey as a PTA student. When I wasn’t studying, I was forcing myself to record workouts/ post whatever I could in my limited free time.

Now that I am done with school & starting a new job, I’m ready & excited to continue sharing my ventures more consistently. But, I want to share more of my life outside of physical therapy, which is why I have renamed my blog & socials: My day by Jay– to focus on all things lifestyle, food/drink and wellness.

What kind of content will I be seeing?

I plan to keep blog relevant to ALL of my interests and the types of content I create. My journey with instagram and blogging over the past year 1 1/2 has showed me what I truly love to share and do, not only as a healthcare professional but as a 20-something exploring metro Detroit. I have created great connections in the physical therapy world, other local foodies, and have gotten to work with some really great brands.

Now, if you’re new to my page let’s get aquatinted (& if you’ve been following thank you so so much):

Let’s get to know each other!

  • I’m Jaime! I am a Michigan native from Caledonia and am currently living in the Metro Detroit area.
  • I have been working for as a licensed PTA for one month at a outpatient orthopedic clinic serving both English and Arabic speaking patients.
  • I’m a nicer human when I’ve had my coffee!!!
  • I am ALWAYS down for brunch at all times & love trying new brunch spots on the weekend.
  • Exercise is the best medicine and my favorite forms of exercise are spinning, pilates, weights, and running (depending on the time of year lol).
  • I aim to inspire others to live healthy, balanced lifestyles without having to sacrifice the things they love!

Enough about me, I want to know you better! Comment below your name, where you’re from, and you favorite things to do in your free time 🙂

XOXO #mydaybyjay

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New Years in New England

Okay, so maybe I didn’t learn to ski in the White Mountains, but I definitely enjoyed the spiked hot coco & everything else that the ski resorts had to offer…I had the pleasure of joining my boyfriend’s family for a week in New England and was able to enjoy the beautiful white mountain range of New Hampshire. As someone who did not grow up skiing and has only attempted once in their life, I was more than happy to explore the town of North Conway, NH instead, and see what this quaint mountain town had to offer.

North Conway, NH

During our time in NH, we stayed at the Red Jacket resort, a beautiful resort with rooms and townhomes with a lovely outlook area, pool area (did not use b/c covid) and cozy spots by various fireplaces to grab a drink and relax. 

We took the hike to downtown North Conway a couple times for some CRISP air, and was so glad we did because this town had so many fun shops and even became my daily coffee run. I highly recommend checking out Frontside coffee roasters for either a latte (I loved their non fat latte + peppermint mocha) or some of their custom hot coco which was said to be tasty! Another must-see is the famous Zeb’s general store that is filled with everything you could possibly need. I loved checking out all of the sweets and custom food items- I can attest that the soup is a must-try!

Another one of my favorite stops was the White Mountain winery where various bottles are named after the owner’s dogs (who of course I had to pet) and offers tastings t/o the day. All in all, the downtown has plenty of shops and cafes to check out next time you are in NH.

Although I did not ski, I hung out at the lodges while Justin did his thing and enjoyed my hot coco and apps- that is what I consider a very supportive girlfriend (lol). I think I’ll learn to ski on the smaller resorts in MI before heading out on the icy slopes of NH.

Whitefield, NH

We ended our stay in NH with a celebration of the New Year at the Mountain View Grand resort located an hour north of our hotel. This was my first ever Masquerade, and it was one of my favorite New Years celebrations to date. The event had amazing food with options like maple glazed salmon, Butternut Ravioli & hearth-baked breads and rolls with maple butter!

My favorite course was the dessert bar where I got my beloved coffee as well as tried out some sweets (the eclairs were to die for)! With some dancing in my lulus dress and full bellies, I loved ringing in the new year with a great group in a beautiful place.

Newbury Port, MA

Before flying back to the mitten, we spent our last day in New England exploring Newbury Port, MA. We started our day with a delicious brunch at Tuscan sea bar and grill. Justin’s mom ordered the mimosa flight so I had to follow suit! I topped of the flight with a delicious French toast plate & I’m already counting down the days to go back. We took a stroll to downtown and found our way to Souffles for a little pick me up. Not only was the latte amazing, but the pink lids were the cherry on top!

All in all, I look forward to going back to NH & MA in the near future, and possibly even trying out the winter sports side of things. Hope you’re having an amazing start to 2022- let me know what you hope to accomplish in the new year in my comments!

XOXO- Jaime (@pta_jay)

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Holiday Moscow Mules Recipe

These festive low-carb Moscow mules have become a staple in my home over the holidays. With the perfect mix of ginger & mint, these are a delicious treat for any holiday gathering or just for hanging out around the home!

I find making the ginger syrup from scratch vs. using ginger beer is so worth it! The smooth flavors of the syrup combined with a little fizz makes the perfect holiday blend! Enjoy the yule fuel!

Instructions:

Alright, you’ve got the goods: ginger root, sugar, water, diet ginger ale, vodka, lime juice, fresh mint & cranberries… now lets have some fun!

Step 1: combine 1/2 cup of peeled/chopped ginger, 2 cups of water, and 1/3 sugar (or substitute) into a pot and set temp to high on stove

Step 2: bring pot to a simmer and cook 10 min. remove pot from heat and cool 1 hour.

Step 3: strain cooled syrup and store in refrigerator (can be stored for up to 2 week).

Step 4: Grab your cute glass and fill with crushed ice (approx 1/3 cup).

Step 5: Pour in 2 oz of vodka over crushed ice.

Step 6: Add 1 oz lime juice

Step 7: pour in 1 oz ginger syrup (can add more or less to taste).

Step 8: pour in ginger ale to rim (about 4 oz).

Step 9: Garnish with fresh mint leaves and cranberries. Enjoy!

Holiday Moscow mules

Recipe by Jaime CanadaCourse: Drinks
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes
Calories

135

kcal

Ingredients

  • Ginger Syrup
  • 1/2 cup ginger (peel & chopped)

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar OR sugar substitute

  • 2 cups water

  • Holiday Moscow Mules
  • 2 oz vodka

  • 1 oz ginger syrup

  • 1 oz lime juice

  • 4 oz diet ginger ale

  • Fresh mint leaves + raw cranberry to garnish

Directions

  • Ginger Syrup
  • Combine chopped ginger, water and sugar into pot and set stovetop to high. Once at a boil, let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pot from stove and let cool for 1 hour. Once cooled, drain ginger syrup and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • Moscow mules
  • Add crushed ice to bottom on glass (about 1/3 cup)
  • Pour over 2 oz vodka
  • Pour in 1 oz of ginger syrup
  • Pour in 1 oz lime juice
  • Pour in 4 oz diet ginger ale and stir.
  • Enjoy!!!
  • Add mint leaves and cranberry for garnish

Notes

  • Yield one 8oz drink

I’d love to see your own creations! Tag me on instagram at @pta_jay in your holiday posts! For more related posts click here !

Holiday gift guide 2021

It’s that time of year again… holiday gift giving season! If you’re like me and spend way too much time trying to figure out the perfect gift for everyone on your list- then you’re in the right place! This holiday season I have decided to make your job easier and put together my favorite finds to knock out all the gifts you need!

Download my gift guide below & click the URLs below for direct links to all gifts shown 🙂 Happy shopping!

♡♡ Pta_jay

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1md2_I0kgIIy67CT0Kd_AIWgilF_ZvnPQ2QsO4gno_co/edit?usp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1md2_I0kgIIy67CT0Kd_AIWgilF_ZvnPQ2QsO4gno_co/edit?usp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1md2_I0kgIIy67CT0Kd_AIWgilF_ZvnPQ2QsO4gno_co/edit?usp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1md2_I0kgIIy67CT0Kd_AIWgilF_ZvnPQ2QsO4gno_co/edit?usp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1md2_I0kgIIy67CT0Kd_AIWgilF_ZvnPQ2QsO4gno_co/edit?usp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1md2_I0kgIIy67CT0Kd_AIWgilF_ZvnPQ2QsO4gno_co/edit?usp=sharing

My day by Jay

Spooky season snack: pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

These delicious fall-flavored cookies are just what you need! They are both fluffy and chewy and oh so yummy. Grab your whisk and lets get to work! Whether you have want a fall-flavored snack to share with family & friends or need a treat at your next get together… try this out! 🍪

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg spice
1/2 or 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used minis)

Directions:

1. Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl & whisk in the vanilla and blotted pumpkin until smooth.

2. Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg spice together in a large bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together. Fold in semi-sweet chocolate chips.

3. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to & line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

4. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough into balls & place on baking sheets.

5. Bake for 11-13 minutes (the cookies will look soft in the center) & remove from oven.

6. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. ENJOY!! p.s. cookies can last up to a week refrigerated 🙂

Follow along for more treats (and maybe some tricks) 🎃🍂

From class to city: a quick trip to the east coast before round 2 of clinicals!

Happy weekend friends! I can’t believe I am able to say that I am DONE with all my schoolwork for my PTA program. In honor of this milestone I decided to make a quick vacation out of my few days off. Justin and I packed up our bags and off to the Detroit metro airport we went… and waited. The thing with travel right now is that you don’t really know if your plane will actually ever leave, and we found ourselves with a seven hour delay for an 1.5 hour flight. Luckily there were food and drinks to save our sanity.

A quick look into our 7 hour wait:

Boston seaport (finally)

If you find yourself in the seaport district, you have to stay at YOTEL. It is a cute, futuristic boutique hotel walking distance from everything in the seaport. Upon entering the room you’ll find changeable color lights, an adjustable bed, and a view of the city. All of the bathroom is clear glass so make sure you share a room with someone VERY close to you lol. We arrived at about 2am so having a comfy bed to crash on was amazing. The next morning we grabbed some coffee at La Columbe (YUM) and wandered off by the water until check out! Even better yet, check out can be done contact-less and was an easy exit!

The Moxy

After walking over a mile with a bag that weights more than me (that’s beside the point) we made it to our second destination: Hotel MOXY. If you’re looking for a modern, vibey place to stay, then this is your place. Upon entering the MOXY you are greeted by eccentric decor, a photo booth and the Moxy bar. Each guest gets to enjoy a welcome drink of their choice along with $25 toward food or drink. My favorite part of the stay was the room with the city view with floor to ceiling windows! There is also a rooftop at the Moxy but is currently being renovated & looked like a fun place to hangout looking from the outside. After getting settled in to the hotel we took a stroll to eat at the waterfront to eat at The Chart House, walked around Faneuil Hall and stopped for a few photo ops (Justin’s favorite) 😉

CONTESSA

I am still obsessing over the fancy dinner we had at the Contessa, located on top of the Newbury Hotel. The Italian-American fare at this rooftop restaurant was to die for along with the overall aesthetic (even the bathrooms were cute). We started off with a Spritz Contessa and a Boulevardier followed by the Chianina Beef Carpaccio Antipasti, Margherita Pizza, Spicy Lobster Capellini, and Garlic Broccolini. Once we figured out how to “properly eat” our fancy plates, we ended the evening with a delicious Espresso Martini. Definitely more of a place to splurge but the experience is worth it 🙂

Block Island

After a super early train ride out of the city, we ventured off to RI for a day on block island. It was such a nice time joining-in on one of Justin’s traditions and exploring the island! After an hour ferry ride out to the island we stopped for a delicious lunch and had some shopping time. Most of the day was spent at the infamous Ballard’s for delicious daiquiris, a dip in the ocean, live music, and lots of people watching.

Cape Cod!

Last but not least, we made our way to the last stop of the trip: Cape Cod, MA! The cape has been of my favorite places to stay when visiting Massachusetts. We had a blast staying with Justin’s family near the water and soaking up some rays. I had yet another delicious fish and chips meal and good company too. It was so hard leaving such a beautiful place but life at home was calling! All in all, I feel so grateful for a little getaway and break from my normal routine. Next up: clinical rotation #2!

Thanks for stopping by! Let’s stay connected below 🙂

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