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. 

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.

A Clean Attempt at WIAW

It’s Wednesday! We are halfway through the week my friends.

Let’s get right to it and talk about some of my amazing eats from this week.

A week ago, I decided to drop refined sugars for a while. I know how much inflammation refined sugar causes to my body, and I wanted to give my body a rest from that madness. Check out this post about how I kick the sugar addiction. I still enjoy sweets but in the form of fruit and natural sugars like organic honey.

Besides the sugar thing, I have really cleaned up my diet again. I’m limiting my processed food intake, going crazy on the fruits and veggies, becoming more aware of my protein intake, and overall just trying to keep my food intake very balanced. It’s amazing what even a week of good clean eating can do for a person! I am feeling great and less bloated.

My EATS:

Those banana almond bars that I made for Valentine’s day are already gone! They were definitely enjoyed if you cannot tell. This is why I can’t keep any type of sweet in the house! At least they were healthier than a pan of Special K bars (oh how I love Special K bars–-Katie).

banana almond bars

This random stir-fry I threw together last night turned out AMAZING! It was sautéed onions, red bell pepper, and mushrooms with a cooked veggie burger and quinoa thrown in the mix. I topped the dish with hummus and was one happy girl.

veggie burger stir fry

Greek yogurt bowl with honey, banana, almonds, cinnamon and raisins; photo taken after half demolished.

yogurt banana

This salad that looked a lot prettier than it tasted. You win some, you lose some. I couldn’t figure out why it didn’t taste good because I’ve made a nearly identical salad before and absolutely loved it. I guess I wasn’t in the right mood.

salad

Thai lettuce cups with peanut sauce and mom’s homemade chicken wings!

lettuce wraps and chicken wings

I went through three napkins and really did a number on this dinner. So good!

lettuce wraps and chicken wings

Homemade almond crackers. I made two different kinds: salt and pepper and rosemary and garlic. They both turned out great!

almond crackers

As always, smoothies are still my go-to breakfast choice. I’ve been going through quite a few brown rice tortilla and peanut (or almond) butter wraps. Organic raw carrots. Cashews. Raisins. Dates.

LOTSA good food!

What have YOU been eating my nutty friends?

Thanks again to Jenn for hosting WIAW!

A Crispy Healthy Snack and a GIVEAWAY! {giveaway closed}

Haaaaaapy Tuesday!

Have you all ever heard of popchips?!

I first stumbled upon them in my college years and was blown away by the healthy (and incredibly delicious) chip.

They are natural potato, tortilla, and corn chips that aren’t fried or baked; they’re popped! They use heat and pressure which makes for a crispy and delicious snack!

Their pledge: “No fake colors, no fake flavors, no preservatives, no fluorescent orange fingertips, and no wiping your greasy chip hand on your jeans. They leave out the bad stuff like hydrogenated oils and msg. Popchips have no preservatives.” source

popchips

Are you enticed yet? You should be.

When I was first introduced to them, there were only a handful of flavors, but now they have a whole lotta’ flavors…

Potato popchips flavors:

  • original
  • barbeque
  • sour cream & onion
  • sea salt & vinegar
  • cheddar
  • salt & pepper
  • chili lime
  • sweet potato
  • thai sweet chili

Tortilla popchips:

  • nacho cheese
  • ranch
  • salsa
  • chili limón
  • The newest addition to the popchips family is katy perry’s signature flavor, katy’s kettle corn popchips

I hope I’ve intrigued you enough because I am teaming up with Popchips and Jillian Michaels to help promote healthier snacking! There’s an awesome giveaway to come at the bottom of this post, so keep reading!

popchips jillian michaels bring the fun social post image

What Jillian Michaels has to say about popchips: 

“my kids love popchips and i love that they are not only delicious, but chemical free with no artificial ingredients of any kind.”

“popchips are my go to afternoon snack. delicious and with half the calories of fried chips and none of the chemicals, they won’t slow you down.”

Here are some healthy living tips from Jillian Michaels that I totally agree with!

1) this new year have more fun with your fitness. staying healthy and in shape shouldn’t be about foods you have to cut or spending hours in a gym, getting healthy can still be fun! instead of working out in a gym, get outside and mix it up during the week. go for an outdoor hike, bike ride, try skiing or take your friends with you to the gym and  try a new class like my new Bodyshred!

2) it’s not about completely eliminating food groups or opting for famine in the new year. enjoy foods that taste great and are better for you.

3) it’s not just about the cardio training. many people believe if they run for an hour they are shedding the pounds. the reality is your body gets used to this type of activity. strength training is a great way boost your metabolism. if you do strength training four times a week, you can increase your metabolism by 6-7 percent! taking a fun weekend boot camp class gets you outside and meeting new people who are trying to accomplish the same goals. plus switching up your workout keeps it fun.

4) making wiser eating choices doesn’t mean you have to skip the fun traditions like taco night. when picking out your main dish options, always go with lean organic meat whenever possible. lean turkey and grilled chicken are great options. and if you love beef in your taco, just make it half lean grass fed organic beef and half turkey meat for a better option that still tastes great. having a burger night? instead of piling on the condiments, which are full of calories and high fructose corn syrup, try adding sliced avocado. they are full of healthy fats that are good for your body and skin!

5) when making dinner for your family, you don’t need to skip out on the fun and nibble on salad – just eat it first! start your meals with the healthiest thing on the table like a rainbow salad or steamed vegetables. that way when you get to the bad stuff you won’t need as much to feel satisfied. also, with better options on the table, your family is more likely to eat them and reap the benefits with you!

An incredibly intriguing recipe using cheddar potato popchips and almonds to crust chicken breast!:

Almond-Crusted Chicken Breasts 

popchips original popchips crusted chicken

Crusted with cheddar potato popchips for added flavor

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted almonds, toasted
  • ½ cup of cheddar potato popchips
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4-to-5 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  • In the work bowl of a food processor, place the almonds, popchips, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, garlic, and salt.  Process until coarsely chopped; the mixture will be a thick paste.
  • Arrange the chicken breast halves in a baking dish. Divide the almond paste and spread on the breasts; pat down to cover each breast completely.
  • Roast in the oven until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer reads 165 deg F to 170 deg F, about 10 minutes. Loosely tent with foil and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Real quick: I’m not saying that you can swap popchips for your fruits and veggies, because that is a no-no, but you can have popchips as part of a balanced diet. Say it with me…ALL IN MODERATION.

Woooooooofta! That was a lot of fun info, right? It gets even better. Are you still with me?

Enter to win at www.popchips.com/bringthefun

“No resolutions required”. Popchips are asking snackers to tell them how they will bring the fun (not the fat) to 2014. They can enter their “bring the fun” ideas @www.popchips.com/bringthefun for a chance to win the following:

  • a round trip for two to jillian michaels maximize your life tour
  • a 1 year subscription to fitfusion
  • a 1 year supply of popchips!

Saaaaweet!

bringthefun_DIGITALCAMPAIGN_612x612_instagramimg

A giveaway to my readers NOW!: One lucky participant will win a one-month supply of popchips (24 bags)!! Yes really!

To enter to win one month supply of popchips: leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite popchip flavor or the one you would be most excited to try if you’ve never had them. Earn an extra entry by tweeting, “I want to win a month supply of @popchips from @NuttyMelanie! http://wp.me/p2J5VV-2FS.” Be sure to leave another comment on this post so I know you tweeted!

I will announce a winner this Friday. Good luck! (No P.O. Boxes—-sorry).

Disclaimer: I am teaming up with Popchips to help promote healthier snacking. I was not compensated for this post but was given free popchips to sample. All opinions expressed in this post are opinions that I agree with and/or are my own.

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.

Peanut Butter Popcorn Snack GIVEAWAY! {giveaway closed}

You all know I have a deep love for peanut butter, right? Peanut butter bananas, peanut butter toast, peanut chicken, peanut butter off a spoon, on a date, the list goes on. I love the stuff.

A couple of weeks ago, the kind folks at Smart Balance asked me if I’d like to sample a new product of theirs; one they were sure I would enjoy. One that involves peanut butter. I was totally game.

The product is: Smart Balance Peanut Butter Popcorn Nuggets

smart balance peanut butter popcorn nuggets

Popcorn rolled in peanut butter, crunchy peanuts, and oats. For real. The second this beautiful bag arrived at my door I tore into it.

smart balance peanut butter popcorn nuggets

Ahhhhhhhh….

smart balance peanut butter popcorn nuggets smart balance peanut butter popcorn nuggets

My face lit up upon first bite. These little babies are spectacular! They’re crunchy, they’re sweet, and they have the perfect amount of peanut butter hugging each popcorn kernel. Holy cow.

smart balance peanut butter popcorn nuggets

 

These are dangerously good!

I learned quickly that portion control is a must as I kept going back for more and more nibbles out of the bag. Enter: the ramekin. I began to pour the perfect snacks into a small ramekin to keep my portions within reason. My waist line thanks me.

They are the perfect anytime snack! I have been enjoying them especially as my dessert after dinner.

These nuggets can be found at Costco stores around the U.S. but guess what?! You don’t have to go to Costco if you win a bag from me here! Well, you will probably want to go to Costco anyway and pick these up in the meantime while I select a winner. You won’t regret it.

Store locator: Where you can fin Smart Balance Popcorn Nuggets

But seriously, want to win a bag for yourself?! ENTER HERE!

To enter to win one bag of Smart Balance Peanut Butter Nuggets, simply leave a comment on my blog telling me your favorite snack. Receive an additional entry by tweeting “I entered to win @SmartBalance Peanut Butter Nuggets from @NuttyMelanie http://wp.me/p2J5VV-2BQ.” Just make sure you leave an extra comment telling me you tweeted.

Thanks and good luck! Giveaway ends on Sunday, February 2nd at midnight central time. One winner will be announced Monday, February 3rd!

Mmmmm snack time!

Disclaimer: Smart Balance provided me with one free bag of Smart Balance Peanut Butter Nuggets to sample and review. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions expressed on the product are solely my own.

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Snacks & Girl Time

Today I am linking up with my lovely blend Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday.

“Do whatever feels best for you. Do something that will make you feel relaxed and loved and happy. Remember this is about treating YOURSELF – not your friends, not your family, not your spouse, not your dog – so make sure you really focus on you. Treat yourself well and treat yourself often so that you will become the best you possible and in turn be your best for others in your life!” source

Little treats, big treats…it doesn’t matter.

Little things like making homemade almond butter on a Sunday afternoon. This was made with raw almonds, unsweetened coconut, and a touch of stevia. It will never compare to my beloved peanut butter but I do enjoy it still.

homemade almond butter

Fruit strips from Target made with fruit juice; 45 calories a piece and 9 grams a sugar. It’s a nice little sweet treat.

fruit strip

A lunch date with my friend Kalley and homemade vegetable soup topped with parmesan cheese!

soup

Air-popped popcorn on #NationalPopcornDay seasoned with olive oil and salt.

popcorn

Girls day with my beautiful mama. Manicure, pedicure, shopping, coffee. Yes, it was glorious!

nails

Treat-Yourself-Tuesday-Badge

How did you treat yourself this week?!

What I’ve Been Eating Lately: Mediterranean Salad and Healthy Snacks

It’s Thursday already! How about that? We are almost to the weekend again. I love having New Years in the middle of the week!

I haven’t been doing a fantastic job of snapping photos of my delicious eats, but I do have a few to share with you that have just been hanging around and deserve mentioning.

I missed the official WIAW yesterday but I’m still going to roll with it and make this a some of what I’ve been eating lately post. 

This Mediterranean inspired salad: fresh spinach, roasted zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, and onions, hummus, olives, feta, and yellow quinoa. I was originally planning on putting this all into a wrap but changed my mind last-minute; go figure.

spinach salad with mediterranean inspiration

 

I really enjoyed this salad. Dana had his as a wrap and liked it a lot too. I made a ton of the roasted veggies so we have been eating this as leftovers for days.

mediterranean wrap

 

There have been a lot of smoothies. I go back and forth about whether or not I appreciate a cold smoothie on a cold winter’s day, but lately I have been absolutely okay with it.

My latest mix might sound strange but I am really into it: frozen bananas, frozen kale, frozen blueberries, kefir, almond milk, ground flaxseed, maca powder, raw cacao powder, peanut butter, and one date. It has a smoky chocolately slightly sweet taste and I feel like I’m eating a shake for breakfast.

 

 

 

smoothie

I never said it was pretty though!

For New Year’s Eve we went over to a friend’s house for dinner. They made us Cuban calzones and parmesan spicy sweet potato fries. OMG. Everything was absolutely amazing. This inspires me to have Cuban wraps or sandwiches more often! I love the combination of textures and tastes from the smoky saltiness of the shredded pork and ham, crunchy pickle, melty cheese, and tangy mustard. K, I want to go make a Cuban right now. My compliments to the chef!!

cuban calzones

My snacks lately have been: popcorn, nuts, raisins, fresh fruit and veggies, and raw brownie bites! Have you made the brownie bites yet? If not, please do so!

brownie bites

popcorn

This was a Harry and David’s pear from Christmas. I’ve never met a more juicy pear in my life. I could go for another one of these as well. 🙂

pear

I’ve been increasing my tea (decaf) intake to help to cleanse my body of the Christmas sugar load. Plus, I’m giving my colon a break from coffee for a bit. Lately my favorite is Wild Harvest’s Green Chai Tea!

tea

 

Last night I made lemon pepper shrimp and roasted acorn squash but was incredibly disappointed when I bit into the squash. It just didn’t taste right. No wonder they were on sale I guess. I pitched the squash and made myself an array of random food: peas, crackers and cheese, some raisins, peanut butter…it turned out alright.

I’ve definitely been cleaning up my act when it comes to clean and healthy food choices (for the most part). Besides eating well, I have been staying active and ACTUALLY getting to the gym and not just doing cardio; I’m actually strength training again! Wooo! I am staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and organic green tea. My body is thanking me and patting me on the back.

So far so good with keeping to my New Year’s casual resolution although I’m not sure what we are having for dinner tonight. I’ll get on that.

Have a great Thursday!

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Wish to share?

Has anyone else experienced bad squash lately?

What are you snacking on these days?

I Love This Thing: Ninja Ultima Blender

Happy super cold Thursday to you all from Minnesota. Right now the temperature reads 5 degrees F and feels like -13 with the windchill. It surely isn’t the weather that makes you want to lace up your shoes and head out for a run, instead I want to be cozied up in my warm house with hot chocolate and a good movie. I can’t complain though because I truly enjoy all of the seasons in Minnesota. As long as you bundle up in the appropriate layers, you will be fine.

Moving on. As you may remember, in September I attended the Healthy Living Summit which was held here in Minneapolis this year. Not only did I have a blast meeting so many wonderful bloggers and hanging out with my best blends, I was also able to meet many of the sponsors and vendors at the event. For the full list of sponsors, you can look here: HLS 2013 Sponsors.

Ninja Kitchen was one of our sponsors. They are the creators of Ninja blenders, food processors, and cooking systems, and the product they were so generous to let me review, the Ninja Ultima Blender.

You may have seen the Ultima in stores or on infomercials; whipping smoothies together and pureeing soups in a matter of seconds. When the kind folks at Ninja Kitchen told me that they would give me a Ninja Ultima to try for myself, I was thrilled!

ninja ultima

 

The Ninja Ultima advertises:

  • 2.5 Peak Horsepower Motor/24,000 RPM***
  • Only blender with Dual Stage Blending
  • Total Crushing & High Speed Cyclonic Blades
  • PRO Variable Speed
  • Gives you a wide range of speeds to 
    create anything from sauces to whole juices!
  • 2 Single Serve Cups with Sip & Seal lids 
    for personalized drinks on the go source

I couldn’t wait to tear into this thing! I have used the large blender for making homemade vegan truffle brownie, which includes walnuts, dates, and cocoa powder. This machine whirls those babies together in no time. I did have to scrape down the sides of the blender in between mixing because the batter was very sticky but that’s to be expected.

 

brownie bites from ninja ultima brownie bites from ninja ultima

 

I’ve also used the large blender for pureeing soups and plan to use it for making homemade tomato sauce in the future. What I love about the Ninja Ultima is that it whips everything together SO quickly and so smoothly.

The large blender has a nice pouring spout so that you aren’t making a mess when you are pouring concoctions out of the blender. Also, every piece of the Ninja Ultima (besides the very base of course) is dishwasher safe! How do you like that?!

This blender offers various speed options, that range from a gentle blend to a total crushing.

What I have gotten the most use out of is the single serving cups. My husband and I both use them almost every day for smoothies. We fill the cups up to the line with fruits, veggies, almond milk, etc, twist on the lid and let it whirl on the blender base. Literally within seconds I have a to-go cup of deliciousness.

 

ninja ultima

 

smoothie in ninja ultima

I use the single serve cup for when I make my two-ingredient pancakes. They whip together so fast and make for perfect pancakes.

two ingredient pancakes made in ninja ultima

I’ve used it to make veggie dip too!

dip made in ninja ultima

The clean-up is a breeze I can’t voice it enough. Seriously, this contraption is pretty amazing. I realize it is a little spendy, but it would be worth every penny for the mess of clean-up and time it saves and especially if you use it as often as we do. It is the most powerful, most efficient blender I have ever owned.

Thank you to Ninja Kitchens for allowing me to review your Ninja Ultima!

Disclaimer:  Ninja Kitchen provided me with a free Ninja Ultima blender to review; however, the opinions on the product are my own.

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.