On Air with Fox 9: Blueberries!

Back in January, I had the opportunity to go back to Fox 9 for another on-air show featuring Driscoll’s blueberries. I have put off this post for a while because I was hoping that Fox 9 would post the recipes on their site and maybe even the clip from my segment, but neither was ever posted. After that never happened, it all kind of fell to the wayside and I just forgot to share it. Until today.

To read about my last visit to Fox 9 and see my video from my last show, head on over here: On Air with Fox 9: National Oatmeal Day

I arrived nice and early to the set and felt like an old pro.

on air fox 9

It didn’t take me long to set up which gave me time to relax, look over my notes, and chat with the Fox 9 crew.

on air fox 9

on air fox 9

The news anchor I worked with this time was Tom Butler. He was so kind and made me feel incredibly comfortable. I was a bit nervous, but did my best to hide it and he definitely helped put me at ease.

Once the cameras were rolling, we were live.

The segment was really great. It was all about healthy snacking and how blueberries can be a super healthy and delicious snack to add to your day.

The best part though was at the end of the segment I got to take part in the Friday Dance-Off. They put on a fun song, the whole crew dances and it is shown live just as the rest of the show is. I don’t know if all of you know this, but this is right up my alley. I love to dance! I killed it with some super corny moves and I’m pretty sure I won the dance-off. 😉

I shared three Driscoll’s recipes with the viewers. On the segment, I put together the spicy trail mix. Feel free to check out the recipes.

 

Blueberry Cocoa Bites: think Larabar with a sweet blueberry filling.

Recipe: http://www.driscolls.com/recipes/view/10152/Blueberry-Cocoa-Bites

driscolls blueberries cocoa bites

photo source

 

Spicy Blueberry Trail Mix: I devoured this mix. The sweet and spicy combo really got me!

Recipe: http://www.driscolls.com/recipes/view/10113/Gluten-Free-Spicy-Blueberry-Trail-Mix

driscolls blueberries

photo source

 

Gluten-Free Blueberry Macaroons: not my fav for some reason but that’s not to say you won’t like them! You could use any flour you have on hand I am sure.

Recipe: http://www.driscolls.com/recipes/view/10099/Gluten-Free-Blueberry-Macaroons

driscolls blueberries macaroons

photo source

For the most part, the whole segment went very smoothly. I had a lot of fun once again!

I was incredibly honored to have had the chance to work with Driscoll’s and Fox 9 again. These are memories that I won’t soon forget! I hope they are more of these opportunities in the future!

Now, go make yourself some spicy trail mix!

Disclaimer: Driscoll’s compensated me for the segment as well as the products needed for the show however all opinions expressed are my own. 

Friday Favorites: Run, Eat, Live

Happy Friday! Today’s date is kind of neat: 2/7/14 because 2 x 7 = 14. #nerd

I’m linking up with my darling Katie for another episode of Friday Favorites! Heeeeeere we go.

1. Eggs. I go through ups and downs with eggs but always remember the considerable nutritional value of the golden beauts SO, I am bringing them back baby.

eggs

2. Van’s Cinnamon Heaven gluten-free cereal. I was looking for a gluten-free cereal that actually had some fiber, and this is my answer. Five grams of fiber per serving. It’s not an every night snack (the box was nearly $5), but it’s a treat from time to time.

van's cinnamon heaven

3. Moose. Moose earns a spot on Friday favorites because poor dog, he is just cooped up inside so often and he must be going crazy. Sure he drives me loco sometimes when he whines, but I know he’s bored so it’s okay. Dana takes him on some runs during the week but ideally he should be getting out every day of course.

moose

4. I registered for a 7k next month. I haven’t really been running due to some health stuff these past few months, and the last actual race I was a part of was on Thanksgiving, so running and getting back into some shorter races will feel GREAT!

Let’s hope the weather will be like how it was two years ago: in the 60’s! I ran in a tank top!

get lucky 2012

5. Cupcakes at Cupcake in Eagan. We were celebrating a retirement party for a co-worker of mine and she so graciously bought a bunch of the cupcakes for all of us.My table decided to split them all so I got to try a ton of different flavors.

My favorite was no surprise the peanut butter chocolate, but what did surprise me is I truly enjoyed a lemon cupcake. Lemon is not always on my radar and I definitely wouldn’t have gotten it for myself so I’m glad that Mary did, and I had a chance to try it! Some time I may have to go back and get a caramel cupcake. Those sounded really good, too!

cupcakes

6. This quote: “We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way.” -Gloria Gaither

inspirational quote

I actually saw a rainbow yesterday morning on the way to meet a girlfriend for coffee. I do believe in symbolism and so seeing the rainbow was an amazing way to start my day.

Have a great weekend my friends!

Thanks again, Katie for hosting!

Friday Favorites

Superbowl Snack Recap, a GIVEAWAY, and Giveaway Winner!

Did you all survive the Superbowl (apparently Superbowl needs to be capitalized like it’s a holiday because spell-check keeps telling me superbowl is incorrect)?

Although the game was fairly boring, the team who I was cheering for actually won! I made sure to sport navy blue and lime green sweats for the game.

I was impressed by the half-time show and fell in love with Bruno Mars. The commercials were just so-so to me. My favorites were the Doritos ones, the Budweiser puppy and horse one, and the Full House one.

The highlight of the evening though was definitely the FOOD! Let’s be real.

A representative from Cub Foods and Essential Everyday reached out to me with some recipe inspiration for game day. I accepted his suggestions and was generously given some gift cards to spend at Cub Foods. Their store brand Essential Everyday is an affordable option and you still get the quality of name brand products.

essential everyday 

I made Cub Food’s guacamole, chipotle slider, and chili cheese nacho recipes, but I did make a few alterations to a couple of the recipes.They all turned out SO good!

Here are the recipes and my modifications:

Guacamole recipe courtesy of Cub Foods and Essential Everyday

Asparagus wraps (this recipe is mine) 🙂

superbowl 2014 guacamole ham asparagus wraps

superbowl 2014 guacamole

 

asparagus roll-up

Chipotle Sliders courtesy of Cub Foods and Essential Everyday; my substitutions/alterations to the recipe are listed in red

INGREDIENTS

  •   
  •   
  •  
  •   
  •   chopped 
  •   
  •  
  •   
  •  

chipotle sliders superbowl 2014 chipotle sliders superbowl 2014 chipotle sliders superbowl 2014

I ate mine bun-less. Delicious.

 Chili Cheese Fries original recipe in black and my changes in red

INGREDIENTS

  •    
  •   
  •    
  •    
  •   
  •  diced 
  • 1 cup pinto beans

chili cheese fries superbowl 2014 chili cheese fries superbowl 2014

Decadent and satisfying!

And of course, a little something sweet: peanut butter M & M’s. My fav!

superbowl 2014 m and m's

It was an absolutely delicious spread. Everything was a total hit! Thank you to Cub Foods and Essential Everyday for helping me host an excellent Superbowl party!

The good news for you guys….

(Correction) Cub Foods wants to give away $10 grocery gift cards to two lucky winners! The applicable stores are: Albertsons, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco, Lucky (not the clothing store), Shoppers, Shop ‘n Save, Cub Foods, Shaws Star, Farm Fresh, and Acme.

To enter: comment on this post telling me your favorite game day or any day “treat”. Earn an extra entry by tweeting, “I entered to win a grocery gift card from @NuttyMelanie! http://wp.me/p2J5VV-2CO”.

Winners will be announced on Thursday, February 6th! Good luck!

_______________________

The winner of last week’s Smart Balance Peanut Butter Nugget giveaway is….

Congrats, Holly! Please email me at beautifullynutty@gmail.com with your shipping address so I can get those delicious bites off to you asap!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Disclaimer: Cub Foods and Essential Everyday have provided me with gift cards to spend on groceries for game day at Cub Foods. All opinions expressed on the store and products are solely my own.

Superbowl Food

As the majority of you know, Superbowl Sunday is coming up in just a couple of days. If you ask me if I care about who wins the game I would say I certainly don’t. Although, I was listening to Sports Radio yesterday (#whoami?) and decided I’m going to cheer for the Seahawks just because I went to Seattle this year. Looks like I’ll be wearing blue on Sunday! Maybe I do care who wins. 😉 I really don’t.

I don’t get too excited for the game. I get excited for the commercials, the half-time show, puppy Superbowl, and the food.

Lots of planning goes into Super bowl munchies, and this year is no exception. I am teaming up with Cub Foods Grocery Store and their store brand Essential Everyday, to put together some seriously delicious grub that will fill our tummies, but that won’t break the bank. I am lucky enough to have a Cub Foods just down the street from me, and that is where I will be doing the majority of my Superbowl shopping this year!

I’m throwing the whole “dietitian” title to the wayside for the day and treating myself to a fun array of dishes. (The dietitian speaks): Although I do encourage you all to watch your portions and make healthy adjustments if they won’t ruin the taste or texture of the dish! 😉 I just can’t brush it off completely can I?

Cub Foods has offered some delicious ideas for game day. These are three that I am contemplating. I haven’t decided if I’m making all three or just one or two. I also am planning to switch them up just a little bit and add my Melanie touches to them.

If you are interested in viewing Cub’s recipes, clink on the image or the recipe title and it will bring you to the page!

Chili Cheese Fries: If I make these fries, I will omit the processed cheese and use natural cheese instead, and possibly make my own baked fries.

Cub Foods fries

Awesome Guacamolegahhh I love guac!

Cub Foods Guac

Chipotle Sliders: hubs is real excited about this one!

cub foods sliders

Thank you Cub and Essential Everyday for these party ideas!  More to come on the Cub Foods and Essential Everyday next week.

Other Game Day Ideas (click on recipe title to view recipe details):

Southwestern Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce (you could skip the dipping sauce if you’d like–they’re good enough on their own!)

santa fe egg rolls

Ham and Asparagus Wraps

asparagus

Cowboy Caviar: serve with bell peppers or corn tortilla chips

cowboy caviar

 

Four Bean Quinoa Chili

four bean quinoa chili

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites from Skinny Taste:

spicy cauliflower bites

This Bean Dip from The Country Cook:

bean dip recipe

I’ve made this before and it was a crowd pleaser! I cut down the cheese a bit though. I love cheese but the amount it called for was getting ridiculous.

Clean Freedom Brownies from The Gracious Pantry:

brownies

It looks like I have some decisions to make because goodness knows I am not making all of these recipes for Sunday!

I’ll be recapping my game day eats with you next week and I’ll have yet another giveaway coming your way so keep an eye out for it!

Happy Friday!

What are your plans for Superbowl if any? 

Any special game-day eats?

Disclaimer: Cub Foods and Essential Everyday have provided me with gift cards to spend on groceries for game day at Cub Foods. All opinions expressed on the store and products are solely my own.

Spin Class with Dara Torres Again!

You may remember back in September when I had the honor of meeting olympian Dara Torres as she promoted Koss headphones at a spin class in Eden Prairie. She is such an inspirational role model; she is kind, motivated, funny, positive, and so much fun to be around. I was thrilled to have met her!

I feel even more privileged to say that I had the opportunity to attend a spin class with Dara Torres once again this past weekend, and this time my husband Dana got to join me!

She was in town promoting AmLactin lotion, “a clinically proven, intensely hydrating, triple action, patented ULTRAPLEX®formula to gently exfoliate, and three essential ceramides to quickly strengthen the skin’s protective moisture barrier.” source 

dara

 

photo: source

And she was leading a spin class again! This time she had to take it easy with the spinning because of a broken shin but she still rode along! Yes, a broken shin and she is still on that bike. Such a fighter!

spin with dara

photo: source

The spin class took place at LifeTime fitness in Chanhassen. Holy moly have you seen their facility? It’s like a small city in there. So beautiful!

spin with dara

 

We rode along to Dara’s energetic playlist as she instructed us through the 50-minute spin class. It got real hot and sweaty in there!

spin with dara

photo: source

dana melanie spin with dara

 

After an endorphin-filled workout, we had the chance to meet Dara and grab our goodie bag courtesy of AmLactin.

 

spin with dara

spin with dara Since Dara and I are old friends now, I took the opportunity to introduce her to my husband. 😉 I feel like such a shrimp next to her!

 

spin with dara

 

It was yet again a successful spin class led by the one and only Dara Torres herself. I wouldn’t argue with another chance to do it again someday! I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by AmLactin, LifeTime fitness, or Dara Torres to write this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Weekend Excitement Teaser

Holy moly…WHAT a weekend! How are you guys?!

This weekend was fabulous! I’m sorry to say that today you’re only going to get a breezy teaser recap without many details of the events of the weekend. I hope to devote some major time to some recap posts this week so you can all get the full stories!

I do still want to share a few photos to give you a sneak peek of the excitement (by the way sorry for the excessive exclamation marks but it was a really good weekend)! 🙂

Teasers

Another visit to Fox 9 news…

fox 9 fox 9 melanie

Another spin class with Dara

dara torres

Chipotle because Chipotle is amazing…

chipotle

Homemade California rolls…

sushi

Escaping the cold weather…

universal studios

 

Does anyone know where I am in this last photo? Brownie points if you do!

I’m hoping to get to you all sooner than later to fill you in on the fun!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

What was your favorite moment of your weekend?

Anticipating Thanksgiving

Before I go into the planned post, I just have to say…we got snow last night!

first snow of the season

The reason I’m excited about this is because 1. It’s really pretty and 2. I know it isn’t going to stick around. I’m not really ready for permanent snow yet. It was kind of fun seeing that first thing this morning.

Anyway, I know Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away but if you’re anything like me, I go NUTS over Thanksgiving. We do the same thing almost every year. In the morning we participate in a 5K run/walk with a bunch of friends which is a blast, then we shower up and head over to either mine or Dana’s parents for a big Thanksgiving feast. Last year we actually hosted at our house and it went really well (minus the fact it took wayyyyyy too long to cook the turkey due to a fritzy oven), but I’m leaving it to the parents this year. 🙂

thanksgiving 2012

I love the intimacy of Thanksgiving; being with family, not stressing about presents, but just being together and enjoying each other’s company. It’s the best.

And don’t get me started on the food. Okay, get me started. I really want to talk about the food. Ever since I was little this has been on my top five of favorite meals. I only wish I could grow a second stomach just temporarily for the day so I could enjoy more of my favorite meal on the actual holiday. I know there’s always leftovers, but they aren’t the same.

My mom and I always discuss our Thanksgiving menu when the time rolls around and we joke about how I never want to deviate away from our standard spread. It’s just so darn good—why change a good thing?!

1. The turkey: my favorite part is the turkey breast.

thanksgiving turkey

source

2. Mashed potatoes with gravy with some extra gravy over the turkey.

thanksgiving mashed potatoes

source

3. Green bean casserole

thanksgiving green bean

source

4. Stuffing

thanksgiving stuffing

source

5. Whipped sweet potatoes

thanksgiving sweet potatoes

source

6. Cranberries

thanksgiving cranberries

source

7. Relish tray: pickles and olives (they are a must in our household!)

Thanksgiving olives

8. Some type of warm roll—I usually skip on this to save more room in my belly for other foods but the rolls are really good for leftover turkey sandwiches.

thanksgiving rolls

source

9. Pie, usually pumpkin

thanksgiving pumpkin pie

source

Don’t these lil babies look good?!

thanksgiving pumpkin

source

For years, I would end Thanksgiving with a trip to my cousin Betsy’s house where we would get cozy in our sweats, eat leftover turkey sandwiches and watch White Christmas. It was always something I looked forward to to end out the wonderful loved one-filled day. This tradition still continues but I can’t always make it over there! I’m always there in spirit. 😉

The day after Thanksgiving Dana and I always go pick out our Christmas tree. I can’t believe in three weeks we will be putting a Christmas tree up in our house! Eeeeeee! I love this time of year.

My mouth is officially watering for some Thanksgiving food. Let the countdown begin to one of my favorite holidays!

Do you love Thanksgiving? Why?

What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods?

Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions?

My First On Air Experience: Fox 9

Happy National Oatmeal Day!

Make yourself a bowl of oatmeal, or make some oatmeal cookies (monster cookies are my favorite!), or maybe even some oatmeal bars. It is such a versatile food; everyone can find a way to enjoy oats! Whatever you do, be sure to celebrate this heart healthy day!

Oatmeal is such a well-rounded food: it contains fiber, protein, fat, and carbohydrate. It’s truly perfect. It has soluble fiber which can help to lower cholesterol, which can in turn help to lower your risk of developing heart disease which is the number one cause of death in the United States. Learn more about the benefits of oats by watching my video below!

I was invited to promote National Oatmeal Day on Fox 9 morning news. I also found out it was going to be LIVE (yikes!). But this was obviously an opportunity that I could not pass up so I happily but nervously accepted. I did my homework and my prep work for the show, and then it was finally the big day: show day!

I woke up bright and early and put on a professional, tv-friendly outfit. Surprisingly, I wasn’t that nervous.

fox 9 outfit melanie

I began my drive over to their Eden Prairie office. I was calm as I recited a couple of the key points I wanted to be sure and make throughout the show.

When I got to the studio, I was greeted by the sweetest and friendliest security guard. I got all checked in, grabbed a large cart so that I could roll in my three boxes of stuff, and was greeted by more staff who showed me back to the kitchen.

I felt so comforted by the staff. They all made me feel very welcome and made me feel right at home. They informed me that my first teaser shot would be at 8:10. I had no idea what this meant so I admitted that I was a rookie and asked to explain what that meant. A teaser shot is a quick five second or so clip of me in the kitchen that the viewers who are watching Fox 9 will see before my segment. It shows them what is coming up next on the news.

So, as I was setting up the kitchen with all of my nummies, I was also being videotaped and it was playing live!

There were three teasers throughout the set-up time. In between I would touched up my makeup, continue setting up the set, chat with the crew, and try and stay relaxed.

Here is what the stage looked like when it was all set up by yours truly!

fox 9 set setup

 

Right before my segment was about to air, anchor woman Dawn Stevens came in to meet me. She is a very sweet and beautiful woman! We quickly went over a couple of things and then all of a sudden the videographer or producer or someone was counting down 5–4—3–2–1. I looked over at Dawn when they were at three and I asked if we were really starting right now? She smiled and said “yup!”

And then the show began. I had a few nerves at the very beginning, but then I got into it and really enjoyed myself! The segment was only about four minutes but it seemed like I had about one minute to go through everything!

I am unable to embed the video into this post (it’s more than likely the user than it is the program :smile:), but if you haven’t checked out the video yet, you can see it here…

Video:

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/23805766/baked-strawberry-oatmeal-triple-berry-oatmeal-scones

What an incredible experience this was! I had such a mix of emotions once it was over. I think I was having a hard time believing that I had just shot a live TV segment and that people had already seen my face on TV. I was overwhelmed and so happy and so proud.

I can’t wait to do more! I hope this is just the beginning of my on-screen career! 😉

I want to thank the staff at Fox 9 for making me feel so welcome, so comfortable, and for having me on the show.

I also want to thank Driscoll’s and Sneaky Pete’s for partnering with me. You are so incredible and I am extremely grateful for you.

So how about I share that delicious recipe with you all for Baked Strawberry Oatmeal bars?!

oatmeal day

 

Photo courtesy of Fox 9

This recipe is from Driscoll’s Berries and you can find it on their website: http://www.driscolls.com/recipes/view/7548/Baked-Strawberry-Oatmeal

These bars are so insanely easy and they are so delicious! I was excited to have leftovers from the show. I left some for the staff but the remaining bars I took home and wrapped individually so that I can have the for breakfast or a snack whenever I want!

So go enjoy some oats on this National Oatmeal Day and let me know how you enjoyed oats today in my comments section!

Disclaimer: I was compensated for the show as well as the products needed for the show however all opinions expressed are my own. 

Acorn Squash with Turkey Bacon + Weekend Happenings

What a weekend! This was a crazy fun weekend and I am exhausted but it was worth it!

Let’s begin with Friday…

I really haven’t been into the salads lately. I’m thinking it’s because it’s cold outside and I’m craving more warm foods. However I made myself a nice little salad on Friday for lunch and I actually enjoyed it! In the mix: dark greens, tomato, peas, avocado, olives, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, and drizzle of olive oil infused with Italian spices.

salad

Friday afternoon we celebrated Ted and Annie’s wedding!

dana melanie wedding

It was so great to see the beautiful couple enjoy their special day and it was a lot of fun to see so many of my high school friends!

mel and brandon ted's wedding kal melanie liz

On Saturday, I was a lazy bum for the majority of the day. Dana made us a hearty, protein-packed lunch of eggs with chicken-apple-gouda sausage and onions. Seriously delicious and satisfying.

eggs and chicken sausage

I watched New Girl and eventually whipped up a batch of this awesome and super easy bean dip for a Halloween party we would be attending in the evening.

http://www.thecountrycook.net/2011/01/warm-bean-dip-and-party-food-highlights.htmlbean dip recipe

In the evening we headed out to our friends Adam and Stacy’s house for the annual Halloween party. Every year they impress me more and more with their Halloween decorations. You can only see half of my costume but I was a Food Safety Inspector (you can’t see my badge or meat thermometer and I don’t have my clipboard with me) and Dana was an Italian chef. Unfortunately his restaurant broke too many codes so I had to shut’er down. 🙂

melanie dana halloween 2013

Thanks Adam and Stace for an amazing party once again!

On Sunday, Dana and I had a bunch of errands we had to run in the morning. I spent the rest of my day prepping for my big TV debut (more to come on this) and I also squeezed in a 3-mile walk around the neighborhood. The weather was absolutely perfect and the scenery was beautiful.

fall walk

For dinner I baked up one acorn squash and served it with organic butter and Applegate Turkey bacon, salt, and pepper.

acorn squash with turkey bacon

I wasn’t in the mood for anything sweet but I think maple syrup would have been really good on this too!

So there you have it. My weekend was a blast and went WAY too fast as it always does.

How was your weekend?
What’s your favorite squash?
How do you use it?