My New Favorite BBQ Sauce {GIVEAWAY!}

Happy Memorial Day to you all! We remember all of the heroes who have served and who are actively serving for our country. They are the reason we are free. God bless each and every one of them and their loved ones. Their bravery should never go unnoticed.

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Switching gears….

Did you know that May is National Barbecue Month?! Austin, Texas-based Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q reached out to me to see if I would like to help them celebrate the kickoff of BBQ season. Of course I would! We are all about BBQ’ing all year round over here.

Craft-made Stubb’s, the leader in authentic BBQ sauces, rubs and marinades, is the only nationally available BBQ sauce brand (available in 85% grocery stores) to carry the Gluten-Free Organization Certification seal and contain no high fructose corn syrup (the first ingredient in most national BBQ sauce brands.) The company is also working with the Non-GMO Project to verify its line!

I have seen Stubb’s sauce on the shelves but have always reached for the brands I recognize, not even minding the label very often which is something I normally read! After buying the Stubb’s sauce and comparing the labels between the two, my mind was blown. I am convinced I will never buy any other brand. Besides the above mentioned nutritional details, Stubb’s BBQ sauce also has HALF of the sugar grams in their sauce! I mean comparing 16 grams to 8 grams! That’s a lot!

Stubb’s offers a variety of bar-b-q sauces, marinades, liquid smokes, rubs, cooking sauces, anytime sauces, and more.

So far I’ve only tried three of their products, but I am THRILLED to have learned about this brand and can’t wait to try more!

STUBBS BBQ

Along with providing coupons for me to try out their products, Stubb’s also sent me a bunch of great recipes to try! I decided to try their Cowboy Burger recipe first which included Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite BBQ sauce, their Beef Marinated, Mesquite Liquid Smoke, and Beef Rub.

Here is the recipe!

Stubb’s Cowboy Burger

Ingredients

2.5 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce
2 Tbsp. Stubb’s Beef Marinade
1/4 tsp. Stubb’s Mesquite Liquid Smoke (optional)
1 tsp Stubb’s Beef Rub
1 large yellow onion, cut into slices
Shredded cheddar cheese
Bacon slices, cooked crisp
Onion Rolls or Hamburger Buns
Toppings of your choice

Cooking Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, Bar-B-Q sauce, Stubb’s Beef Marinade, liquid smoke (optional) and Stubb’s Beef Spice Rub. Use your hands to mix well. Once combined, separate the mixture to make six patties. Make a slight indent with your thumb in middle of each patty to keep it from swelling while on the grill.

Prepare your grill for direct medium-heat cooking. Lightly oil the grates and place your burger on the grill, indent side up. Cook burgers for 12-14 minutes or until preferred doneness (160°F) turning once during cooking. While burgers are cooking, add the onion slices to the grill and cook until lightly charred and soft, turning once. Also toast the buns.

To serve, top burgers with Bar-B-Q sauce, bacon, grilled onion and shredded cheese. Add additional toppings to your liking.

TIP: To cook the bacon for this burger, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay bacon on top. Cook in a preheated oven at 375°F for 15-20 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to cool.

STUBBS BBQ

K, so I forgot the bacon but would you believe that I hardly even missed it?! This burger packs SO much flavor! I was so excited about it I repeatedly said to Dana, “omg this is so good” and snuck in bites of extra burger once I was done with mine.

And another confession, when I thawed out the ground beef from the freezer, I accidentally grabbed one pack of ground chicken and one pack of ground beef. I realized it once I was pouring the sauces on the meat. I made sure to cook the burgers to well-done because of this.

It’s okay though because they turned out GREAT. The burgers just shrunk more than usual. They started off the size of this sandwich bun, and ended up like this…

STUBBS BBQ

 

STUBBS BBQ

STUBBS BBQ

I savored every bite of this baby.

STUBBS BBQ    STUBBS BBQ

 

YUM! I’m not kidding I am CRAZY about this flavor! No more boring burgers this summer!!!

Do you want to try Stubb’s sauce for your next BBQ?! Here’s your chance to win some coupons for free Stubb’s products!

To enter to win, write a comment on this post telling me your favorite summer BBQ foods. Bonus points if you share this post on Facebook or Twitter (make sure and comment on this post if you do so to get an extra entry!).

Giveaway will close Thursday, May 28th at 9 pm central time. I will choose one winner on Friday May 29th!

Let’s hear it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve with Almond Breeze

Thank you for all of the love on my last post. It means so much to us. Each day is getting a little bit easier but I still find myself doing things like closing the bathroom door when we leave the house (so he doesn’t sneak in and raid the garbage) and waiting for his howl when the UPS guy comes by. It will take a long time to get used to not having our big guy around. Forever loved and remembered.

moose

 

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On a different note…

I teamed up with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and whipped up an incredibly delicious (and healthy) dessert or snack!

I’ve mentioned it before and I will mention it again: Banana Soft Serve. This time I added cocoa powder and peanut butter to create Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve!!

chocolate peanut butter banana soft serve

This is the EASIEST dessert ever!

All you need is:

  • frozen bananas (about one medium or large banana per person)
  • A few splashes of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter (I generally use Smuckers Natural but used Smart Balance this time)
  • 1 heaping spoonful of cocoa powder (add more or less to your liking)
  • Optional: vanilla wafers and sprinkles to top the creamy soft serve

almond breeze banana soft serve

In your blender, blend bananas, almond milk, cocoa powder, and peanut butter until smooth and creamy.

banana soft serve

banana soft serve

Serve it up and eat right away! Feel free to top the creamy soft serve with vanilla wafers, fresh berries, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whipped cream, or whatever you have around!

Smooth and creamy and such a naturally sweet little dessert!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

Friday Favs: 1 2 3

HAPPY Friday! Today I’m playing along with Katie’s Friday Favorites! The date is 1/23 hence my post title. #nerd

FAVS

1. I’m noticing a trend in my phone photos in that they are 98% all of Bode. Not surprising right? He is my #1 favorite this week and every week. He is now officially in the crib and is a total rockstar! More sleep for mama makes for one happy lady. He is growing so quickly and changing every day. He amazes me.

2. Healthy meals. I am thrilled to have gotten out of my post-partum no-cook slump. This may go hand in hand with the fact that I am getting more sleep?!

kabob

3. The crock pot. The glorious crock pot. We were friends before but now we are BEST friends. I made a pork roast the other day and it couldn’t have been more easy thanks to my buddy.

 

 

pork tenderloin crock pot

4. Bridesmaid dress shopping for this beautiful girl’s wedding! I am insanely excited for this wedding and for the events leading up to it!

 

 

bridesmaid dress shopping betsy melanie

5. Rose ointment from Young Living. Unfortunately I have been dealing with dermatitis on my face and not only is it terribly embarrassing but it’s just annoying. My skin is so darn dry. This rose ointment has helped tremendously with that. And the smell, oh the smell is beautiful. Young Living in general is a Friday Favorite. This company rocks my socks.

 

 

rose ointment young living

 

6. I am limiting my gluten and dairy intake not only for my own health but to experiment with the little man and his reaction to my milk. This cream cheese is surprisingly delicious. It tastes darn near close to normal cream cheese and tastes great on almond crackers!

 

go veggie cream cheese

I hope you all have a super weekend! Relax and enjoy!

xoxo

Healthy Snacking with Blue Diamond

Remember this box of snacking goodness I received a few weeks ago from the wonderful folks at Blue Diamond? If you don’t, here’s another glimpse…

blue diamond snacks

That’s a lot of delicious loot, right? Blue Diamond asked me how I get my good going now that the weather is finally starting to warm up.

The summer is crazy. We all know that. Especially those of us who live in the Northern climates who only get to enjoy warm weather for 3-4 months. We pack everything we can into those 3-4 months. Camping trips, hiking, bike rides, vacations, weddings, and of course, shopping for new summer clothes. There is so much fun to be had!

The days can be busy (in a good way busy), and so I always make sure to have plenty of snacks with me wherever I go. I stash snacks in my car and in my purse because you never know when hunger will strike and no one wants to encounter hangry Melanie. This is where Blue Diamond snacks come in to play so perfectly. They offer so many fun flavors of almonds and their snack chips are a household staple for us!

Here are some snacks that I like to have on hand…

Trail mix with roasted salted Blue Diamond almonds. In this mix I threw together the almonds, a dried fruit combo that I had of craisins, blueberries, cherries, and raisins, and Corn Bran cereal. Use whatever you have on hand and make your own trail mix to go. It’s a fun little snack to have around. Kids love it too!

blue diamond snacks blue diamond snacks trail mix

One of my all-time favorite Blue Diamond almond flavors: Salt n’ Vinegar. I stash these in my car and they are perfect while out running errands. They don’t need any accompaniments if you ask me. They are so good by themselves! Mmmmm!

blue diamond snacks

A true snack staple in our house is Almond Nut Thins. These crunchy snack crackers are gluten-free too! These would be great for a picnic out with friends or family. Grab a box and top it with your favorite spread: hummus, laughing cow and muffuletta olive spread, cheese, cottage cheese, guacamole, salsa. Get creative!

blue diamond snacks blue diamond snacks

Don’t leave the house without throwing some Blue Diamond almonds into your purse or car. They are the absolute perfect snack for your super fun and jam-packed summer!

Disclosure: I was given free Blue Diamond products to sample and review but all opinions expressed on the products are solely my own.

If you could only choose ONE flavor of Blue Diamond to eat ever again, which would you choose?

I would have to say salt ‘n vinegar or roasted salted! Black pepper rosemary is really good too though!

What I’ve Been Noshing On Lately

Instead of my usual “what I’ve been eating lately” title, I thought I’d switch it up a bit. Just like my other WIAW posts, this one highlights some of my eats over the last week or so.

What I’ve Been Noshing On Lately…

I didn’t want an actual Olive Garden entrée, I just wanted the salad that comes with it, so that’s exactly what we ordered for pick up. Have you guys ever had Olive Garden’s house salad? It is seriously so good!

olive garden salad

Fruit and nut “cereal” bowl complete with blueberries, strawberries, banana, sliced almonds, raisins, and almond milk. So pretty!

fruit cereal

Grilled burger loaded with mushrooms and onions with steak fries!

burger

Croque monsieur, croque madames and French onion soup. We had our friends over on Friday who we went to Paris with (I know, I know I still need to do a recap Paris), and we had a reminiscent meal of our trip there complete with baguette, European beer and Perrier. A croque monsieur is basically a grilled ham and cheese  with extra cheese on top, and a croque madame is a grilled ham and cheese with a sunny-side egg on top. These were better than the ones we had in Paris! So was the soup!

croque madam and french onion

Taco salad made with ground turkey. Have I mentioned how completely obsessed I am with tacos?!

taco salad

I’ve been happily snacking on Blue Diamond almonds and crackers thanks to the wonderful folks at Blue Diamond!!

blue diamond almonds

Banana soft-serve (straight, no mix-ins) made by Dana. This stuff is so stinking amazing. Please, please make it if you haven’t. Grab your blender, throw in a bunch of frozen bananas, a splash of almond milk (or whatever kind of milk you have on hand) and let the blender mix it to a soft-serve consistency. You have to stop in the process and scrape the sides, so it takes a little bit of work, but it is completely and totally worth it so do it!

banana softserve

Homemade meatloaf made with grass-fed beef and LOTS of ketchup obviously.

meatloaf

Chicken and steak shish kabobs from the kitchen of Kathy and Tom (mom and dad). Kabobs scream summer to me and although it was only about 40°F when we ate these babies, I still got that summer feeling.

kabobs

Broccoli and cheese soup from Panera annnnnd I had $1 off because I use my Panera points card every time I go which made it taste even better. Um…yes!

panera broccoli cheese soup

Breakfasts are almost always still my go-to smoothie: frozen blueberries, frozen banana, kale, almond milk, peanut butter and raw cacao powder. When your breakfast tastes like a peanut butter chocolate shake, why would you want to break away from it?!

I think my body is trying to fight off a cold so I’m trying to feed it lots of good healthy and nutritious foods. Or maybe it’s just allergies? I’m not sure.

Questions:

What’s the best thing you have eaten lately?

Have you ever had Olive Garden’s salad? Do you love it as much as I do?

Favorite Soup, Clean Things & Pups

TGIF!

I’m linking up with Katie once again for Friday favorites!

1. Getting goodies delivered to my door. Blue Diamond hooked me up with a fun little Olympic-inspired box of almonds.

blue diamond almonds

2. Lunch with two amazing and inspiring women at Panera. Can you believe I ordered the French Onion soup? I’m a creature of habit apparently. That, and French Onion soup is one of my all-time favs and since I don’t go to Panera too often, it’s one I like to order on repeat. And yes, I ate my whole loaf of bread with little repercussions (yay!) but I don’t plan on making that a habit.

panera french onion

3. As much as Moose is driving me crazy lately with his stir-craziness, he is so stinking cute still. I mean really, who can blame him. I would go stir-crazy too this winter. As you may have heard, we got bombarded with snow yesterday and Moose was in his dreamland. He just sat out in the snow and watched the world go by.

moose snow winter

moose snow winter  moose snow winter

4. Experimenting with my Young Living Essential Oils and finding new combos that work for different ailments/household messes/stinky gym shoes/sticker residue, etc. Being that I’m a science nerd, experimenting with oils gets me all happy.

lemon oil

5. These cleaning brushes from Collections Etc. The kind folks at CollectionsEtc.com sent me these cleaning brushes to review.

collections etc

I realize this is a bit of a random one for me, but the reason I agreed to review these is because I thought they would be perfect for cleaning the CamelBak water bottles which both Dana and I use on a daily basis. The downfall to the CamelBak is that there are a lot of nooks and crannies where bacteria can grow and it’s not always easy to clean out.

Well…I am happy to report that these little gadgets did a pretty fine job at disinfecting the water bottles. I used a lemon oil/vinegar/water blend to clean these along with the brushes.

The only issue I had was that not all of the straws on the water bottles are the same size, and so the cleaning tool got stuck in one of the straws. I had to unwind it out. So, technically it came out, just not easily so I guess I shouldn’t necessarily say it got “stuck.”

IMG_0413

It worked great for the mouthpiece.

collections etc

And inside of the straw insert hole.

collections etc

So far I have only used these brushes on the water bottle but I am definitely satisfied with the product! I have my eye on some cute tumblers on their website too!

Happy Friday to you all!

Disclaimer: Collections Etc. sent me these cleaning brushes to review on Beautifully Nutty. All opinions expressed on the product are solely my own.

Friday Favs: Comforts and Pampering

Did everyone enjoy their tropical getaway yesterday? :wink: I have to admit that I forgot all about it, darnit! I’ll be sure to try to visit the sunshine again today.

How about a little Friday Favorites link up with Katie?!

Okay!!

1. This killer salad combo. As much as I haven’t been craving cold salads these days, I decided to throw together this beauty on a whim last night. It was spinach, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, olives, broccoli, sunflower seeds, hardboiled egg, and ranch dressing. It tasted like a salad from a fancy salad bar; I think the egg really made it.

salad

2. Appropriate warm winter gear especially my Sorel boots. I live in those things in the winter. They keep my feet so warm and dry, plus they are cute! I get compliments on them everywhere I go.

jump in winter gear

melanie at nelsons

3. A cup of coffee. I have been limiting my coffee and caffeine intake (again, just trying to give my digestive system a break from stimulants), but this past week I gave in and had some coffee. I am so grateful for a warm and creamy cup of jo. It is such a comfort to me in the mornings. As much as I have been trying to replace coffee with tea in the morning, and convince myself that it is just as good, I can’t. It just doesn’t compare and never will.

coffee

4. My manicured nails and pedicured toes. I only get mani/pedis done once a year but think I may have to make it more of a habit (especially the toes) because it feels so good to have my hands, feet and nails all cleaned up!

pedicure toes

5. My bed. We own a Tempur-Pedic and I can only begin to tell you how amazing it is. I look forward to crawling into bed at night. The bed hugs you softly yet is perfectly firm. My Tempur-Pedic pillow supports my neck and keeps my spine aligned. Awww, excuse me as I go crawl back in bed now. :wink:

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Coffee or tea?

Cold salads in the winter?

Favorite winter gear?

Fun weekend plans?

Friday Favorites

Favorites from the Week: Spin, Florida, Food

Happy Friday! I’m linkin’ up with Katie’s Friday Favorites today. Thanks, Katie!

Many of my Friday favorites involve events that you have already heard about this week. Although, there is one amazing day that I still have to share about (I won’t forget I promise!).

Some of my Friday Favorites…

1. Spin class with Dana and Dara Torres. A great workout instructed by an olympian with my honey by my side. Sounds nice, right? dara

2. Snacking on Driscoll’s blueberries! So crunchy and sweet and fiberlicious. blueberries

3. Homemade California Rolls with quinoa instead of white rice. This was my first ever attempt at using quinoa instead of white rice in these rolls. I let the quinoa cook for an extended period of time before stirring in a vinegar, honey, salt, and water mixture. The combination of overcooking the quinoa and adding the vinegar mixture made the quinoa perfectly sticky and so easy to use in the rolls. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to white rice! sushi 4. Mini getaway to Orlando with Dana. Sunshine, relaxation, and Disney. :smile: orlando 5. Salt ‘n Vinegar Blue Diamond Almonds. I mentioned these a couple of days ago I realize, but they make an appearance again because they are SO good. blue diamond almonds

6. The kettle chips from M. Tavern in Orlando. The chips were super crunchy just how I like them. kettle chips 7. Egg salad with avocado. One hard-boiled egg, 1/4 of an avocado, mustard, green onions, and pepper. A perfect snack or addition to your lunch! egg avocado salad 8. Wild Harvest’s Organic Green Chai Tea. (I originally typed green thai chee. A little dyslexic today I guess). :smile: I’ve been limiting my coffee intake and replacing with tea instead and this has been a morning staple for me. I add a splash of coconut milk creamer too. green chai tea   Friday Favorites

There you have it!

What are some of your Friday favs?

Current breakfast beverage?

Current favorite snack?

What I’ve Been Eating Lately: Random and Tasty

It’s been a while since I’ve caught you all up on what I have been eating lately. I will warn you that my eats have been completely random. I have been veering away from the cold salads more often in place of something warm like soup or quesadillas.

Thank you to Jen at Peas and Crayons for hosting the What I Ate Wednesdays!

WIAWbutton

Here it goes!

Gluten-free pasta with mom’s spaghetti sauce. NUM!

gluten free spaghetti

Cheese quesadillas with salsa.

gluten free quesadilla

Organic tomato soup with extra cracked black pepper.

tomato soup

Homemade veggie dip made from cottage cheese, ranch seasoning, and Italian seasoning packets–the Ninja Ultima was perfect for this job!

homemade cottage cheese veggie dip

Veggie plate with veggie dip.

veggie plate

Grass-fed beef burger with Monterey jack cheese.

burger

Acorn squash with turkey bacon.

squash

Oatmeal for National Oatmeal Day!

oatmeal

More quesadillas, this time with black beans and avocados too!

quesadillas

Loads of berries (recycled photo)!!

driscolls berries

Baked strawberry oatmeal bars.

IMG_4310

I told you…completely random, but TASTY!

What have you been eating lately?! 

WIAW: What I Have Been Eating Lately

Today I’m joining in on the fun with a round of Peas and Crayon’s, “What I Ate Wednesday,” but instead of what I ate Wednesday, I am renaming mine to what I have been eating lately.

WIAWbutton

Loads of fresh and sweet berries thanks to Driscoll’s berries!!

berries

Spinach salads with strawberries, black beans, avocado, chicken, sunflower seeds, and honey mustard dressing.

spinach salad

Fruit and Nut “Cereal”–blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, sliced almonds, cashew pieces, dried currants, cacao nibs, and almond milk! And I just decided that is what’s for breakfast today! Num!

paleo cereal

Leftover Four Bean Quinoa Chili from the freezer!

leftover chili

Two over-easy eggs with sautéed onions, fresh garden tomatoes, avocado, and salsa!

eggs

Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins. These things are crazy good! The box is empty.

blue diamond crackers

 

Dates for a little bit of a sweet treat.

dates and pb

And last but not least, homemade almond butter!

 

 

almond butter

 

I’d say I’ve been eating pretty darn well!

 

What have YOU been eating lately?