Another confession… I used to hate BBQ. I mean really hate it. The smell of bbq sauce or any sort of pulled meat made me turn my nose up. A few years ago I figured I should try it again (since your taste buds change over time) and guess what? I loved it. I still can’t do ribs but pulled pork is really delicious. Especially when it is as simple as rubbing some spices on it, letting it sit overnight and putting it in the crockpot. I mean seriously, everyone can do that! You come home to a house that smells unbelievable. And you have food for a big gathering or a few days.

 

What makes this even better? It’s only a few ingredients. Red Gold Tomatoes sent me a whole pack to make a recipe with and they had a recipe card that had pulled pork on it. They had you making your own rub but I love Stubb’s and had a whole jar of their BBQ rub and sauce ready to be used.

 

Red Gold (1 of 1)

 

What makes this pork even better is topping a fresh roll with your favorite BBQ sauce (Stubbs) and piling on the pork. Go ahead and add slaw or other condiments if that’s your thing but I love it just with the BBQ sauce. Scott always adds hot sauce to his but I just want the pork. Sometimes I opt for a bowl of it topped with sauce and avoid the bun all together.

 

With cooler weather coming this Red Gold Tomatoes prize pick is perfect for chili, watching football with a beer in hand and boots! A great pair of tall brown leather boots… Back to food Mellissa, back to food. Just tell me your favorite thing to do with tomatoes and I will pick a winner next Thursday the 25th. 

 

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Crock Pot Pulled Pork

by A Fit and Spicy Life

Prep Time: 10 minutes + overnight

Cook Time: 8 hours

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

  • 1/4 cup Stubb’s BBQ Rubb
  • 3-4 pound pork roast
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans Red Gold® Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Red Gold® Diced Tomatoes, drained

Instructions

Place the pork roast in a large resealable bag, pour rub in and ensure pork is coated well. Refrigerate overnight.

Place the pork, fat side up, in a slow cooker. Add the RED GOLD® CRUSHED TOMATOES and RED GOLD® DICED TOMATOES.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove pork and shred with two forks.

Add pan juices as needed to keep pork moist.

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Wine Wednesday Josh Cellars

September 17, 2014

Happy Wine Wednesday! After a very cool past week it’s going to be 70+ degrees today. Yeah! One more night of white wine. When you name a wine after your dad I feel like your winery is going to have a great story. Joseph Clark winery in California produces great wines at very reasonable prices.

 

Major bonus that they support Operation Homefront and The Gary Sinise Foundation. Taking the time to volunteer and donate profits to help the troops makes me much more likely to support a business. They were just featured in the Huffington Post for their charity work.  I’ve had a few of the Josh wines, but the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are my favorites. The sauvignon blanc is floral with notes of peach and melon. The perfect wine to enjoy on these last few warm days before Fall really sets in! And the Pinot Noir is nice and earthy with hints of cherry. These are just really well made California wines.

 

Most of their wines are under $15 and are really great for entertaining or just sitting on your front porch enjoying those last warm days. I will be opening my second bottle of the sauvignon blanc tonight! Thanks for sending these over. We loved them.
Josh Wines (1 of 1)

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Travel Tuesday Giveaway

September 16, 2014

Scott and I are heading out of town this weekend courtesy of  Visit Omaha, the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s restaurant week and they are trying to get the word out about how great Omaha is to visit. Since I’ve only ever been there for work I wanted the chance to experience Omaha for fun!

 

www.VisitOmaha.com

 

Our Agenda

 

Dinners out at:

The Grey Plume is one of the most amazing dining experiences in Omaha. They use local food and have an amazing composting/recycling program

Dinner at Taita, a  Peruvian/Japanese fusion restaurant that is chef owned & operated, and like the Grey Plume, works closely with local farms for local produce, meats and poultry. 

 

A Visit to:

Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Lauritzen Gardens

 

Staying at:

The Magnolia Hotel. I LOVE boutique style hotels, such a great experience. I can’t wait to stay here this week.

 

We are looking forward to walking around Old Town, doing a bit of shopping, having some great steak! I will report back with how our weekend went early next week and announce the giveaway winner on Tuesday the 16th.

 

 Visit Omaha has a great giveaway package to share. If you are from Omaha, heading to Omaha, want to head to Omaha or even know someone who would enjoy this giveaway package please enter! This is a great value:

 

 

Total Value: $168

 

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Travel Tuesday Omaha

September 16, 2014

When you think about Omaha, most people have never been or think it’s just flyover country. I had been for work a few times but never really had time to check out Omaha. When Visit Omaha contacted me about coming for a weekend I was really excited. It just so happened to be Omaha Restaurant Week as well. Delicious food and a chance to try new restaurants. Sign me up.

Where we stayed:

Magnolia Hotel

A beautiful historic building with a ton of charm, great rooms and a convenient location to downtown and the Old Town area.

 

Omaha Weekend (15 of 30)

 

Friday:

After getting checked into our hotel we went in search of lunch. We had read some great reviews on the Benson Neighborhood and particularly, the Benson Brewery. Local beers, great burgers and a stylish interior. It has undergone a gentrification and is the new “hipster” spot. Great restaurants and breweries.

 

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Balsamic Bacon Jam Blue Cheese Burger. As good as it looks and sounds!

 

Omaha Weekend (4 of 30)

 

Traditional cheseburger with onion straws

 

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Onto the Joslyn Art Museum. A mix of ancient Greek art to modern 20th century painters. My favorite pieces were all of the blown glass, the building itself (done in an Art Deco style) and the beautiful sculpture garden. Major bonus? It’s free!

 

 

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A stroll through Old Town to check out the shops, visit another local brewery/distillery and just got some walking in. Sitting in the car all day doesn’t do much for my step count.

 

 

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Borgata has been open a few months in another historic space, they remodeled it beautifully and their hard cider and white whiskey are pretty fantastic. They have high end cocktails as well and were prepping for their Oktoberfest on Saturday (we had too much going on or we would have gone!)

 

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We had dinner at Taita on Friday night, another gem in the Benson neighborhood that serves sushi and a locally driven menu. There were two options for the restaurant week menu and we opted to share one of each. It was the best way to try the most dishes!

First Course

  • local tomato salad: soy vinaigrette | local greens | puffed rice

 

Second Course

  • brown butter scallop | edamame | soy glaze | spices

 

Third Course

  • braised beef cheeks | wheat berry risotto | mint pesto

 

Sushi Option

This was chef choice and included a roll, a ceviche dish and 4 pieces of sushi. It was delicious!

 

Our one complaint, the service was a bit slow (they were really busy) and the sushi portions were quite small. I am glad we shared since it was enough for the two of us but I know Scott would have needed more sushi.

 

Saturday

 

After a complimentary breakfast at our hotel we bundled up (it was in the upper 40’s) and headed to the Henry Doorly Zoo to visit all the animals. I am glad we arrived shortly after it opened, by the time we were done it was packed.

 

I appreciate the learning aspect of zoos but do feel a bit sorry for the animals. I do applaud the zoo for expanding habitat areas and ensuring the animals had additional space to roam. We really loved the aquarium and the chance to be outside soaking up the cool but beautiful morning.

 

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Stop #2 for the day, The Lauritzen Gardens. I think this was our favorite attraction of the weekend.  100 acres of gardens, plants and a chance to enjoy some quiet after the zoo. Haha. I had been a while since I was last at a zoo and I had forgotten how loud they get. This was the perfect respite.

 

We strolled, talked about our favorite areas and flower, we may even have a few ideas for our own back yard. The gardens are open all year but I can only imagine how beautiful they are at the peak of summer.

 

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It was after 1:30 by the time we were done and really ready for some lunch. Pizza sounded pretty fantastic and especially a coal fired pizza place that had modern décor, a great beer and wine list and delicious food. Check out Pitch Pizza, it is fantastic. This pizza was delicious! Super spicy for Scott and I just took most of the pepperoncini’s off and still enjoyed the flavor.

 

Given my affinity of talking with my hands I almost sent this pizza flying. Seriously. Scott managed to catch it. We had a good laugh about that one as my face was bright red…

 

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We headed to Midtown Crossing after lunch to check out one more area, we knew we would be having dinner there that evening but had heard good things about Brix and Grane. Two “bars” that allow you to preload a card with a set amount and select the sample of your choice.

 

At Brix wines range from $1-8 for a small sample and full glasses are around $12-18 (for higher end wines). We also happened to be there for a free tasting and got to try some great cabs for fall. I think we may have found a new favorite cab! We didn’t even end up using a card at Brix because of the free tasting (moderation is key) and walked over to Grane which is owned by the same group.

 

Grane features whiskey and scotch. I was a happy happy girl. Scott and I shared a tasting after loading a card with $20 and having 3 very unique samples. A smoky, peaty Islay scotch, Green Spot which doesn’t make it to the U.S. very often and Arran which was a tiny bit sweeter. This place was a blast! I loved talking with the staff and hearing their recommendations. The cocktail list was pretty fantastic too.

 

To end our evening on Saturday we headed to The Grey Plume for the best meal we’ve had in quite some time. Excellent service, really unique food and the wine pairing was spot on.

 

First course

  • potato soup: crème fraiche | potato salpicon | black summer truffle
  • honey creek creamery chevre gnocchi: tomato confit | sunflower sprout | candy onion

 

Second course

  • blue valley steelhead trout fillet: summer succotash | pattypan squash | cherry tomato | okra
  • great plains certified piedmontese beef collar: potato | maitake | broccoli | grilled peach | pastrami

 

Third course

  • earl grey pot de crème: chocolate | bergamot | black tea
  • peach blancmange: pecan | sage | brown butter

 

We enjoyed everything but if we had to pick a favorite, the soup and the trout were the best things. The beef collar was a bit tough and since neither of us had ever had it before we didn’t know what to expect.

 

It was quite dark in the restaurant but Scott did manage to get this great shot of our second course wine and dessert wine. It was a lovely two hours to just enjoy the food, sip our wines and loved the atmosphere.

 

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If you are looking for a great place to check out for a weekend, head to Omaha. Great food, wonderful attractions and it’s very drivable from a lot of cities. It took us about 5 and a half hours from the Twin Cities and made for a perfect long weekend.

 

Thank you to Visit Omaha for providing our hotel and dinners on Friday and Saturday evening. We had a fantastic time!

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Tracking Sleep with Jawbone UP24

September 15, 2014

Today, I’m partnering with Jawbone to talk about sleep. I’ve written about my issues with sleep on the blog a few times. I’ve never been a great sleeper (you can even ask my Mom that) and I am constantly waking up each night and never feel like I am getting deep sleep or enough sleep. While […]

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Fitness Friday Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein +

September 12, 2014

We are on our way to Omaha for a fun weekend away! Much needed and I am looking forward to exploring a city as a tourist instead of just being there for work. Since we got up at 4:30 this morning (that is way to early!) I didn’t get a workout. But I did make […]

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Pulled Pork Nachos

September 11, 2014

Disclosure: I was compensated by Food Should Taste Good for developing this recipe and sent product samples to create the recipe with.   When you open your fridge and see that teeny tiny container of leftovers and you don’t have a clue what to do with it? That was me coming up with these nachos. […]

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Wine Wednesday Trader Joe’s Entertaining Wines

September 10, 2014

We tend to have impromptu evenings of having friends over, this past weekend we decided to have a bonfire about 3 hours before dusk. So how do you throw a quick party together in a few hours? A variety of appetizers, a few kinds of wine, beer options, water and kid friendly beverages all help. […]

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Makeup Monday Makeup Bags and Best Eye Palettes

September 8, 2014

As someone who has way too much makeup I have attempted to organize my drawer. Eliminating single eye shadows (not my MAC or Bare Minerals, I love those too much) in favor of palettes. You get a variety of color options and they take up a lot less space! With one drawer to hold all […]

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Fall Fitness Pieces

September 5, 2014

It was a very fall like 58 degrees when I woke up this morning. I couldn’t just leave the house in my normal Friday attire of a cute work tank and jeans. I had to grab a jacket! Knowing that it would soon be jacket season again and that I would need to be layering […]

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