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Looking for a Good Read? Well here it is!

Ever find a book that you just cannot put down, well for me this is that book! Your Holistically Hot Transformation, by Marissa Vicario.

Honest, Easy and Very Thought Provoking.

One statement got me thinking:  “willpower isn’t a reliable weight loss tool”

I repeated this several times, and realized that I do this a lot. If I don’t prep my food, or forget to pack a healthy meal when traveling, I think “well I will just resist any temptations”.   I cannot tell you how many times I have forgotten to pack a lunch for work and in my large office which vendors bring in not so healthy lunches, and I see a warm bread stick and say, I will just have one and realize I put 3 on my plate. Well I decided to use Marissa book as a tool like she suggests, promotes and provides in her book  and see if I could develop some new amazing healthy transformations on my own Holistically Hot Transformation.

Best part of the book is the easy steps Marissa provides to help, aid and move towards your own Holistically Hot Transformation.

At the end of the book Marissa provides ways to incorporate all of her knowledge into your every day life.  Use smaller plates to keep portions smaller, take the stairs instead of the elevator to incorporate exercise into your daily routine when you don’t have time to go to the gym, drink water throughout the day so stay hydrates.  But most importantly, Marissa wants you to stop obsessing – don’t focus on the scale, don’t worry about being perfect.  Just be you.  Be holistically hot!

This is a great read for nutrition and health novices because the essentials are broken down in a way that is easy to understand. Your Holistically Hot Transformation includes recipes and a grocery list of food for each food group that should be present on your plate. Whether you’re looking to learn about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle or looking for tips on how to maintain your already healthy lifestyle, Your Holistically Hot Transformation can benefit you.

 

Holistically Hot Transformation Business Travel Life

Back Cover.

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Embrace a Healthy
Lifestyle Free of Dieting,
Confusion and Self-Judgment

Your Holistically Hot Transformation (Holistic Health and Nutrition) Are you tired of fad diets and all-juice cleanses? Confused about all the conflicting nutrition information available? Over feeling guilty for your nutrition slip-ups? Finally learn to trust yourself to make slimming, nutritious and energizing choices without dieting, confusion and self-judgment! Award-winning Health Coach and Women’s Lifestyle Expert, Marissa Vicario, wasn’t always as healthy and happy as she is today. There was a time when her diet had more macaroni and cheese and G&T’s than broccoli and green smoothies. It wasn’t until she hit rock bottom that she realized something had to change, and it was in that moment that she vowed to make her physical, mental and emotional well –being a top priority. Your Holistically Hot Transformation follows Marissa’s wellness journey from unfulfilled corporate professional to purpose-driven women’s lifestyle aficionado committed to making healthy, fit and balanced (aka Hot), less intimidating, more approachable and totally attainable to women regardless of where they are on their own path to a healthy lifestyle. You’ll find advice for making healthy living a habit, tips for stocking a healthy kitchen, guidelines for understanding the hunger and fullness cues your body sends you, simple ideas for self-care you’ve never tried before and a sprinkling of fast, fool-proof recipes and motivational mantras. Smart, honest, and actionable, Your Holistically Hot Transformation is the most relatable health and nutrition book of its kind.

Your Holistically Hot Transformation will teach you how to:

  • Make healthy living a habit far beyond the rules and regulations of any diet
  • Understand the messages your body sends you so you can give it what it needs
  • Stock a healthy and organized kitchen and put whole food ingredients to good use
  • Make simple self-care a regular part of your day
  • Enjoy travel, dining out and spending time with friends without ruining your waistline or sacrificing your healthy          habits
  • Put everything into practice with actionable advice, motivational mantras and fast, fool-proof recipes

What You Can Take from the Holistically Hot Book:

*Learn about Superfoods *Holistically HOT foods you should eat (favorite part) I Love trying new foods! *Superfoods to incorporate into your diet (easy ways to incorporate them) *Must-have kitchen gadgets/tools (a great reason to shop) *Foods to stock up on *Recipes (green smoothies) *Cravings and your relationship with food *Listening to your body*

I love all the prep ideas and stocking up tips for keeping healthy foods on hand to succeed. PLUS…you get a great sample shopping list.

From the Author

Health and wellness has become more mainstream in recent years, so there’s a lot of nutrition information available from a multitude of sources, most of it competing. Because I studied nutrition,I can sort through it all, but what about the woman who is just getting started on her nutrition journey? I noticed that when I started working with a client,she was almost always confused and misinformed about how to eat and mindfulness and self-care parts were most often completely missing. I wanted to simplify everything for the woman who is just starting out, confused to the point of paralysis or has tried everything to no avail and wants to start over with a more balanced approached. I remember being that woman at one time, so I wrote the book I would have wanted to read. Sometimes we need someone to reassure us it doesn’t have to be so complicated and that everything is going to be OK.That’s Your Holistically Hot Transformation.

Biography

Marissa Vicario, AADP, is an award-winning, board-certified Integrative Health and Nutrition Coach, blogger and Women’s Health & Lifestyle Expert. As the Founder of Marissa’s Well-being and Health, she is passionate about teaching women to trust themselves to make nutritious, slimming and energizing choices without resorting to fad diets and all-juice cleanses. Her tips, recipes and expertise have been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Glamour and Next Generation TV among many other women’s lifestyle publications.

After spending a decade and a half as a junk food vegetarian and raging sugar addict, Marissa Vicario discovered whole foods and the way they made her look and feel. Her desire to live a cleaner, healthier lifestyle was so strong, she broke out her hand-me-down pots and pans and dull cutting knives and taught herself to cook in the tiny kitchen of her Manhattan studio apartment. In the process, she learned that food changes everything and single-handedly transformed the trajectory of her life from the inside out. It wasn’t long before she decided to study holistic nutrition and make it a career.

Book available on Amazon

Marissa’s Twitter @

Marissa’s Instagram marissavicario

Marissa Vicario Founder, Marissa’s Well-being and Health

www.mwahonline.com | http://bit.ly/HolisticallyHot

 So happy I am able to spread the word on this book, and recommend it to friends and family. After having several conversations with Marissa and following her on Social Media, I knew I had to read her book. I was hooked from cover to cover. I really took so much from her writing. I could feel her passion for health when reading this book. Each chapter had me wanting more and more information. I loved this statement:

Embrace a Healthy
Lifestyle Free of Dieting,
Confusion and Self-Judgment

Hope you check it out, it really is packed full of great information. Enjoy.

For more Content from Marissa check out her YouTube Channel, here.

Check Ya Later.

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My latest breakfast obsession.

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Turmeric Paste to make Golden Milk.

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Turmeric Paste

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup  turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water PLUS 1 cup water in reserve, if needed
  • 1/3 cup  Coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

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Golden Milk Recipe

  • ¼ teaspoon (or more if you can tolerate the taste) of turmeric paste
  • 1 cup almond milk,  hemp milk or coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (you can also use sesame oil or sweet almond oil) – get unrefined, cold pressed oil
  • Some honey,  maple syrup or stevia

Put milk and turmeric paste in a pot and cook on medium heat. Heat the mixture until steaming but not boiling (some recipes call for boiling the mixture but prolonged heat can destroy the active ingredient curcumin). Remove from heat. When the drink cools down, add honey and oil(s). The oil supplies you with healthy fats and further increases turmeric absorption. It helps with joint lubrication and promotes cellular function.

The drink has a nice golden color, hence its name.

A very small number of people have reported allergy to turmeric. If you’ve never eaten turmeric, start with a small dose and observe the body’s reaction.

Keeping the germs away;

Staying Healthy with my favorite immune guard dogs.  doTERRA On Guard essential oil capsules, On Guard Throat Drops, Sambucus Black ElderBerry Extract.

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January Bestowed Box

Previous Links Here, Here and Here.

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healthy(ish) Deserts and Pizza’s.

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Stonefire Naan homemade pizza. Love putting together these little pizzas loaded with all my favorite toppings.

Previous Pizza Posts

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Refreshed my makeup and joined a few monthly subscriptions.

Birch Box.

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Ipsy Bag. 

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Ordered my Favorite YouTubers Book. 

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Joined the Influenster Team.

Discover. Review. Share.

ABOUT

A community of over 1.5 million social savvy shoppers that:

  • Stay on top of the latest product news & expert tips.
  • Review products, share honest opinions with brands and the community.
  • Test products for free based on social media influence.

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February makes me Shiver, So I Eat soup.

Boulder Organic Foods

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Boulders Organics MISSION

Boulder Organic Foods’ mission is to craft “oh my gosh!” good organic food with uncompromised nutrition using garden-fresh ingredients.

NATURE ROCKS OUR WORLD

We’ve got a major thing for organic eating and we’re not ashamed to show it. This is Boulder Organic!, where we feed our passion for garden-grown ingredients and wholesome fare with temptingly nutritious recipes you’ll be hard-pressed to resist.

ALWAYS ORGANIC
ALWAYS GLUTEN-FREE
ALWAYS NON-GMO
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS
Boulders Organic sent me two coupons to try some soup. So as soon as the coupons arrived I hit my local Target store and chose these two yummy flavors. I found them in the deli refrigerator section.
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In our kitchens, we accept only the best—like whole, organic produce (much of it’s local), savory spices (a pinch of this and a dash of that) and people with a passion for doing things right (everything is personally prepared just like you’d make it yourself). We laugh in the face of artificial ingredients and preservatives because frankly, compromise just isn’t our style. And honestly, who wants to eat something that’s been sitting on a shelf for a year? Not us, that’s for sure.

Come experience what nature intended food to taste like, and hurry up it before it gets cold! Actually…it’ll definitely be cold because Boulder Organic! products are sold in your grocer’s deli refrigerator. Find a store near you and enjoy some today.

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ALL SOUPED UP

Picture this: you, a spoon, and a bowl of fresh,
organic soup so good it’s almost too good. Almost.

Well, wouldn’t you know it? That happens to be our specialty. We make all of our fresh soups in small batches from the finest farm-harvested organic and gluten-free ingredients so you can really taste nature’s best in every bite.

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Here are a few fun recipes provided by Boulder Organic!

Green Chile Pulled Pork:

Ingredients:

– 2 lbs. pork shoulder roast

– 1 tub Boulder Organic! Green Chile Corn Chowder

Place a 2 lb. pork shoulder roast in a slow cooker, add one tub of the Green Chile Corn Chowder on top (add a dash of salt if desired). Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Pull apart and enjoy!

 Chicken Vegetable Chili Nachos:
Ingredients:

– 1 tub Boulder Organic! Chicken Vegetable Chili

– ½ cup sour cream

– 1 bag tortilla chips

– 1 cup of your favorite salsa

– 1 avocado, diced

– 1 jar pickled jalapeno, drained (if you like the spice!)

– 1-2 cups finely shredded Mexican blend cheese

– ½ cup fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler, place top rack about 6 inches from top. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread tortilla chips over baking sheet. Heat Chicken Vegetable Chili in saucepan until slightly reduced and thickened. Pour chili over the top of tortilla chips. Add cheese to the top of chili (as much as you like!). Place baking sheet on top rack and broil 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top nachos with salsa, sour cream, avocado, jalapeno, and cilantro as desired.

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 Also received 3 Free Coupons from Van’s to;

Celebrate National Hot Breakfast Month. 

February is National Hot Breakfast Month. Now is a great time to get back into the habit of eating a healthy breakfast each day.

Why is it important to eat in the morning? Not only are you literally breaking the fast from the previous night’s meal, but eating a healthy breakfast can give you energy, wake up your brain, and help you stay on track for healthy eating the rest of the day. Aim for a combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat to keep you full longer and avoid the mid-morning crash.

But who has time for hot food in the morning? You do, and Van’s Natural Foods can help. Here are three healthy (and quick) hot breakfast ideas to get your day started on the right foot.

Waffles with Peanut Butter & Banana

Heat your favorite Van’s waffle. Top with 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter and ½ a sliced banana. No need for syrup, the bananas are sweet enough!

·         Van’s fiber- and whole-grain-rich Gluten Free Ancient Grains Waffles are made from a mix of nutritious whole grains including brown rice, millet, teff, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum and quinoa. Gluten Free Ancient Grains Waffles have 32 grams of whole grains – and 6 grams of fiber – per serving. Egg- and dairy-free, this waffle is a deliciously nutritious way to start the day.

·         Van’s Power Grains Waffles are the first nationally available high protein waffles. Each serving, made with cracked red wheat and steel-cut oats, offers 10 full grams of protein – more than an egg.  Like all of Van’s products, Power Grains are made with high-quality ingredients and frozen for freshness so they don’t contain preservatives.

 Here is what I selected Van’s Whole Grain Waffles, Mini Chocolate Chip Waffles and Cinnamon French Toast Sticks.

I blog about Van’s often. They are amazing to work with and always keep me posted on new items and promotions they have going on.

Previous posts here, here and here.

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Minis Waffles

Chocolate Chip

Chocolate never seemed so sensible.

 Don’t let the amazing taste fool you; Van’s Mini Chocolate Chip waffles are made with the same nutritious ingredients as our other waffles but with just a touch of chocolate for an extra treat! Try them for breakfast or topped with peanut butter for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up snack.

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Gluten Free Waffles

Ancient Grains Original

Baked with whole ancient grains – without gluten, dairy, egg or soy.

 Packed with 23g nutrient-dense whole grains and 6g fiber, these gluten-free ancient grains waffles might just be our best creation yet!

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and My All Time Favorite Van’s Item…

Gluten Free French Toast Sticks

Cinnamon

Cinnamon French Toast Sticks – hold the gluten, dairy & egg!

Start your day with gluten-free whole grain goodness and a dash of delicious cinnamon. Van’s Gluten Free Cinnamon French Toast Sticks are a tasty morning meal or afternoon treat.

 

Yummy. 

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Things Lately;

 

2016 New Year Family Card

                                                 2016 New Year Family Card

December Ispy Bag

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December Bestowed Box

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Made some amazingly fun Charcuterie Boards for Holiday Parties.

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Pronounced shahr-kyut-uh-ree it is a French word that comes from chair “flesh” and cuit “cooked.” It refers to cooked, cured or smoked meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, rillettes, galantines, pâtés and dry-cured sausage. Charcuterie has been considered a French culinary art at least since the 15th century.
another definition described it as:

Charcuterie is the French word for prepared meat products such as pate, rillette, and sausage, as well as the butcher shop that sells them. Coming from chair (“flesh”) and cuit (“cooked”), charcuterie was originally prepared as a way to preserve meat before the invention of refrigerators.

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Me and my little guy.

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Daddy and his little girl.

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Before.

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After.

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New Year Card. I skipped the Christmas card and sent out New Years Cards.

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Check Ya Later.

 

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Pumpkin Love

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Featuring my Favorite Fall Muffins:

Toasted Millet Pumpkin Muffins.

 

These muffins contain easy ingredients I normally have on hand. Loving my huge tub of Chobani.

I love toasting the Millet, it smells so good and kinda pops and brown up.

Plus they are so easy to just plop a spoonful into the muffin tin because it’s a thick batter.

I’ve made these Pumpkin Toasted Millet Muffin before in an earlier post.

 

I love this amazing little muffin. It is packed with flavor and crunch, and as a bonus, they freeze well. I love foods that freeze well. I like to keep a few out a few and freeze the rest for another day. Plus their healthy, and who doesn’t like that?

Ingredients:

Makes 12

These muffins offer an intriguing crunch, thanks to the toasted millet. Savor them warm from the oven, or freeze a batch to have on hand.  Allow muffins to cool completely before transferring to freezer bags. Thawed muffins may be reheated in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes or microwaved for 15-20 seconds to give them a little warmth.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup millet
1 egg
1/2 cup Chobani Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup soy or coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (to replace butter)
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
8 Packs Splenda
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan; set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add millet and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and just beginning to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer millet to a plate to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Greek yogurt, soy milk, applesauce (to replace butter), pumpkin, Splenda packets and brown sugar; set aside. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cooled millet in a medium bowl, then gently fold into egg mixture until just combined. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Also I wanted to introduce you to a New and Fun Website call Liv360 where you can find The best products to help you look good, feel great, and live better. Just follow the link, sign-up and join this amazing community.

 

I am also going to be a Live Better Ambassador for Liv360.  

Liv360 vision is to create the first marketing and distribution platform for the consumer health and wellness products and brands.

This site features lots of different healthy related products that other health enthusiast have tried or recommend such as: These 5-Blade Herb Scissors

 

5-Blade Herb Scissors

 

Liv360 has just launched Great products, awesome deals, and an amazing community. To Celebrate this launch, please enjoy 15% off by using the code “GiveMe15”! Gotta Love A Coupon Code.

Check Ya Later.

Pumpkin Love.

 

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When I think of BBQ I think of Stubb’s.

Check out this Amazing Recipes Page.

previous Stubbs’ Post.

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Some of my favorite recipes are the;

STUBB’S SPICY SHRIMP KABOBS

Ingredients

1 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 ½ cups pineapple chunks (preferably fresh)

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares

½ cup Stubb’s Pork Marinade (or more if desired)

8 wooden or metal skewers

Cooking Instructions

If using wood skewers, soak in water for at least 15 minutes. Thread shrimp, pineapple, and red bell pepper in an alternating pattern onto skewers.

Prepare your grill for direct high heat cooking. Oil the grates and place the skewers over the heat. Grill for 5-10 minutes, flipping often until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Baste the skewers with Stubb’s Pork Marinade every time you flip.

NOTE: To make the dish less spicy, baste less often.

 

 

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and the;

SWEET HAWAIIAN MINI BURGERS

Ingredients:

Burger:
1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 canned pineapple slices
12 Hawaiian sweet or small whole wheat dinner rolls, split
Lettuce

Sauce:
1/4 cup Stubb’s Sticky Sweet bbq Sauce
1/4 cup pineapple preserves
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

 

Cooking Instructions:

Combine ground beef and Worcestershire sauce in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into twelve 1/2-inch thick mini patties. Set aside.

Combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Place pineapple slices on rack in broiler pan; brush with sauce. Place pan in oven so surface of pineapple is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Broil 4 minutes, turning once and brushing with sauce. Remove pineapple, keep warm.

Place patties on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Broil 7 to 8 minutes for medium (160°F) doneness, until beef is not pink in center and juices show no pink color, turning once and brushing burgers with remaining sauce after turning.

Cut each pineapple slice into thirds. Line bottom of each roll with lettuce, top with burger, then with pineapple piece. Close sandwiches. Makes 4 servings.

Cook’s Tip:  Cook’s Tip: Other fun and flavorful toppers could include tomato slices, cucumber slices, red bell pepper strips and shredded carrots.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc; and a good source of fiber.

This recipe was developed for Stubb’s by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. For more recipes by NCBA, please visit her website at www.beef.org.

Courtesy of the Beef Checkoff. www.beef.org

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I found all my Stubb’s favorites at Kroger, but for those who like to shop online checkout Amazon.

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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.

YUMMY BURGER COMING YOUR WAY!

Did a lot of lazing around over memorial day, but was fast enough to snapped a quick picture of the Blue Heron “Harvey” that hangs around on the lake. He is so fun to watch.

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Received my May Bestowed Box and it was full of amazing goodies. Wow, I mean full.

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They never disappoint. Their membership boxes are loaded. April was my favorite. Gift card for Urban Remedy.

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febbestowed

Buddha Called to me.

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Used that card that very day.

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More Bestowed posts, here , here

Here is some details on what your subscription gets you:

You get an assortment of FULL-sized healthy snacks, beverages, and more  – delivered to your door every month. All products are selected by nutritionist and author Heather Bauer and every box is loaded with expert tips, recipes, and advice! FREE Shipping.

 Heather Bauer is a nationally recognized nutrition expert, author, and entrepreneur.

Her fresh and inspiring approach to diet has landed her prime time spots on Good Morning America, CNN, CBS, The Talk, Access Hollywood Live and The Tyra Banks Show. She has also been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and People Magazine.

She is the author of two top-selling books; The Wall Street Diet (Hyperion 2008) and Bread is the Devil (St. Martin’s Press 2012) and has regular columns on The Huffington Post and US News & World Report where she covers the latest trends in diet, health and nutrition.

In addition to Bestowed, she is also the founder of Nu-Train (short for Nutrition Training), a diet and weight loss counseling center where thousands of people have learned how to safely lose weight and keep it off for good.

Heather is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist (CDN). She graduated from The University of Wisconsin and is a member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the New York State Dietetic Association (NYSDA).

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I have a few other Bestowed Box Reviews under my belt; check them out here,here, here, here, here and here! What can I say, I’m a Bestowed Box Groupie. More and  here, and here

Made Hemp Seed Amaze Balls.

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Love them. Previous Amaze Balls recipes here and here.

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Threw together some cinnamon chip pumpkin muffins.

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Check Ya Later.

Next Post is of our vacation post from  our 20th. Wedding Anniversary trip tp Bora Bora, where we stayed in those Over water Bungalow, at the Four Seasons Resort! Please stay tuned, We are so excited to share.

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Back in October 2012 my Foodie Pen Pal sent me a Vanilla Infusion Kit.

I could not wait to get it going. So I grabbed my Vodka and Vanilla Infusion Kit and got mixing. I was so excited to break this open and Make My Own. I had no idea something like this was even available. All you do to make your own is split the vanilla bean and fill with vodka. Then you store for 4 to 6 months, and BOOM you have your very own 7 year supply of Vanilla.  The key to making it last 7 years is to keep adding vodka to the bottle as you use it.

What makes homemade vanilla extract so much better than “store-bought”? First, you have control over the quality and type of vanilla used in the extract. Using premium grade vanilla beans will provide significantly better flavor and aroma than commercially produced extracts.  Simply take the 7 whole vanilla beans out of your infusion kit, split each bean lengthwise and add 8 ounces of 35%+ alcohol.  Any type of alcohol can be used, but bottom shelf vodka is most common because it will not add any additional flavors to the extract. Bourbon, rum and brandy can also be used. After 8 weeks, the vast majority of the extraction process is complete. For complete infusion 8 months is a typical time frame.  Once the vanilla is ready to use the vanilla beans can be removed, but If the vanilla beans are left in the bottle, the flavor will continue to evolve (just be sure the beans are always submerged in alcohol).

Well….Here is the fruit of my labor, and I love that it only required the labor of fill and wait.

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So I had to test it out!

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I made a Biscoff – Yogurt Vanilla Infused Fruit Dip.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2  6-ounces Greek yogurt with honey  (can use with any yogurt with or without honey)
  • 2 tablespoon crunchy biscoff spread or any nut butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon infused vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Add what you like…this recipe is so easy to incorporate YOUR favorite flavors

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve with sliced apples, berries and assorted fruits.
  2. Store unused portion in the fridge for 2-3 days.

* I have frozen this dip before and it thaws well. Just be ready to whip it up as it thaws to get back the original texture.

 

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I make this little dip often and I have to say that my favorite version is this one. The combination of the crunchy biscoff and my new vanilla extract really gave it a fun crunch and a warm vanilla flavor.

Fruit Dips and Yogurt Recipes of the Past. 

Check ya Later.

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 Need some new recipes? The Sexy Vegan has done it again, with a collection of Vegan recipes under the book title of Happy Hour at Home. I adore the theme of this cookbook, Small plates, BIG FLAVORS & Potent Cocktails. He designed the book for an intimate menu serving 2 to 4 guests. It gives it a romantic and dreamy feeling. Plus the creativity and thought put into the dishes sure did make this girl an instant fan of Brian. 
Here’s the story on Brian.
When Brian Patton, a regular guy rather than a highfalutin chef, began posting videos on YouTube as his hilarious alter ego, “The Sexy Vegan,” celebrity status, including a book deal for his first book The Sexy Vegan Cookbook quickly ensued. Now, he’s done it again with his upcoming new book The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home: Small Plates, Big Flavors, and Potent Cocktails (New World Library, June 1, 2013).

When Brian began dating his soon-to-be wife, he offered to entertain her with Friday night Happy Hours at her apartment or his. After a long work week, she was ready to kick back and enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine, and it was the perfect way to enjoy summer evenings. After a couple of weeks, these evenings weren’t just for two because her friends begged for invitations after hearing rave reviews of Brian’s delicious tapas and appetizers.

Brian created so many recipes that he decided it was time to put them into a book.

The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home is divided into 20 Menus, each with 3 or 4 recipes, and libation suggestions. The dishes in each menu complement each other, using similar spices and overlapping ingredients, making the menus efficient. Designed around specific themes, each menu has a unique twist but can easily be combined with other finger foods to provide everything you need to entertain vegan and non-vegan friends and family alike.

Recipes include favorites with a twist, such as yamburger sliders, seven-second salsa, cucumber almond dates, and heart of palm ceviche. The book also has innovative delights such as rhubarb pancakes and rhubarb mimosas, because, as Brian writes, “it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.”

Brian has tested each menu and can make them in 60 minutes or less, and he offers ways for readers to increase their efficiency in the kitchen. Included with each recipe are shopping lists, making planning simple and QR codes with links to videos of Brian creating select dishes.

True to the Sexy Vegan’s signature style, The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home is efficient, lively, and funny. On every page, he proves that seriously good — and good for you — food can be easy, fun, and delectable.

Interested? Well here is how you can get your hands on this book. Go to New World Library link here.

I have so many pages marked with recipes I want to make from this book. I look forward to cooking and serving up some serious mouth-watering small plates and some tempting cocktails.

First on my list is this Libation.

The Punchy Pineapple

Makes 1 cocktail

  • ice cubes
  • 2 fluid ounces (1 1/2 shots) spiced rum
  • 3 fluid ounces coconut water
  • 2 fluid ounces pineapple juice
  • 3 fluid ounces ginger beer
  • splash of Amaretto

Fill a tumbler halfway with ice cubes. Add the rum, coconut water, pineapple juice, ginger beer, and Amaretto. Stir with a long spoon.

Want More Information on The Sexy Vegan?

Website: www.thesexyvegan.com

Twitter: @TheSexyVegan

Facebook: Facebook.com/TheSexyVegan

YouTube: The Sexy Vegan

The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour At Home Cookbook

 *A Special Thank you to Kim, Senior Publicist of The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Check Ya Later.

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Happy Weekend! Wanted to start my post with the Stubb’s BBQ Giveaway Winner.

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Using the Random Integer Generator.

Here is the random number:

Numbers

Pick  numbers between  and . Distinct:  
Sequence=27 
Draw stat: sum=5, avg=5.00
Draw date: 2013-06-01 06:03:09

(Sum=5 Avg=5 ) Congrats #5 wildbluewonder,

 I think burgers are my fave. Like some of your other friends mentioned, though, it’s so hard to choose!

  1. Congrats T! Your gonna love the Stubb’s line. I emailed you with the prize information. I know you will Love Stubb’s BBQ Line. I have been spicing up chicken, pork, veggies and potatoes! Really delicious products. Please, enjoy and a Huge  Thank-you to Stubb’s for Hosting this giveaway.

     

    Stubbs+ Grill=Summer Fun and Food.

Now onto another summer favorite. Chopped Salads and Beer.

Chop Salad! That seems to be my current addiction. I’ve made one almost every day since the Michigan Bloggers Meet-Up.

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I used recipes from here and here. I just chopped away and added as much or little of each of the ingredients below. No measuring.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag Mixed Lettuce
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Shredded Red Cabbage
  • Chopped Chives
  • Goat Cheese Crumbles -or- Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Wonton Strips
  • Bolthouse chunky Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing
  • Dried Cranberries and Honey Roasted Pecans
  • Chopped Chicken Breast

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directions:

Chop lettuce in 1/2-inch squares. Mix lettuce with the chopped carrots, and cabbage. Toss in the pecans and  dried cranberries with the dressing. Add the tortilla strips, goat cheese or blue cheese crumbles, and chives. Serve in a chilled bowl.  Top with sliced grilled chicken breast.

Also had a Applebee’s Chop Salad and a Beer. Loved this salad. It had tortilla strips, black beans, chopped chicken and the dressing was zippy and creamy.

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I am so hooked on Blue Moon Beer right now, it’s so refreshing and light.

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Check Ya Later.

 

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