Happy 2nd Birthday Nutritious Eats + a GIVEAWAY!

Nutritious Eats turned TWO last month. I meant to celebrate earlier but I’ve already mentioned how crazy October is for our family. I can’t believe that I have only been blogging for 2 years yet I can’t believe how fast the time has flown. I dreamed of starting this blog years before I actually did. I would sit at work (on my breaks of course) and look for available domain names. Of course all the potential blog names from my original list were already taken. It literally took over a year to find a free name and one that I really liked. Come to think of it now, it would be fun to look back at that list to see what I hoped for in a name because of course now I can’t imagine anything but Nutritious Eats.

Why did I want to start a food blog? I’ve always loved to eat but my passion for cooking was really ignited when I was newly married and living in San Diego. I didn’t have kids yet and would spend any extra time watching the Food Network. I couldn’t get enough. I was working as a Dietitian at the time (in the wellness/weight management/corporate sector) and I wanted a place to send my clients for great recipes. I remember trying to describe healthy meals I had made for me and the hubs, but it wasn’t enough, I wanted to show them.

Fast forward a couple years, I had my second child and had to cut down on my work hours. Being a stay-at-home mom was more important and just made more sense financially. Then we moved to Hawaii and I still hadn’t gotten around to starting the blog yet but I figured it would be the perfect time (being a stay-at-home mom) and I could start doing some online consulting too. That never happened because I simply never had the time. It would take hiring a babysitter to get any hours free for consulting. In the end, I was home with the kids and needed, I mean really needed, a creative outlet. I finally got organized, found a name that I liked and started a food blog. I knew I wanted to share healthy, scratch-made recipes, but also some delicious splurge-worthy recipes too. If you have read my about page you know that I love food way too much to omit food groups from my diet.

I want my readers and clients to have a healthy relationship with food and have the desire and inspiration to make healthy eating and cooking a priority in their life. That is why I focus on recipes rather than nutrition articles. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so to me sharing healthy recipes speaks volumes. You might find it challenging at times, but you won’t regret the effort you make trying to cook food at home. It will nurture you inside and out and living a healthy lifestyle will fall into place.  I hope I have inspired some of you to cook more, eat healthfully and be a little more adventurous in the kitchen.

What have a learned from blogging? It’s hard yet very rewarding! Cooking, taking pretty pictures, creating recipes from scratch and writing  is definitely time consuming, but I am thankful for some of the job opportunities it has provided me with. I am also so very thankful for the friends I have made blogging. I have contacts all over the world through blogging and it is such a wonderful supportive community. That is truly something I never imagined! It’s so easy to compare yourself to other more successful bloggers but in the end I am doing this for me. I come here just as much as a loyal reader might to look up my favorite recipes and meal plan….and for that alone I am content.

I do hope you feel welcome to grow with me by commenting, keeping in touch, letting me know what you’d like to see more of or what you don’t like. I love my readers but if I don’t ever hear from you it’s hard to know where to go with future content. It might not seem like it to you when you read blogs, but blogging is definitely meant to be a two-way street. I was once that person that only stalked read blogs until finally I learned how much more fun it was when I got to know the blogger and that was by interacting with them….whether it’s through twitter, facebook, blog comments or instagram. Don’t be shy…just say hi!! (ok I did not mean for that to rhythm but it does and now it will be stuck in my head).

My goals for the next year:

  • double my readership (yikes!)
  • be consistent with 3 posts a week (recipes and increase my fitness posts)
  • start online nutrition consults
  • study food photography and styling
  • improve open communication and dialogue with my readers
Now onto the good stuff! the recipe and giveaway! 
P.S. Before I forget, please make sure to visit my last post where I will send you some love mail if you leave a comment: a recipe for roasted acorn squash sent on a Thanksgiving card from Cardstore! Very fun idea I think.

I baked these cupcakes for my oldest son’s 6th birthday last month along with the dinosaur cake I shared with you. I know a lot of you have seen these on Pinterest or have made them yourselves but if you haven’t, keep them in mind for your next party! The kids went crazy for them.  My tradition is that I made the kids’ birthday cakes from scratch for all birthdays- they don’t have to be fancy or impressive but they do have to taste good. Since these were just extras made for the neighbors (and I wasn’t even sure we’d use them since we didn’t really organize a party this year) I threw them together with a boxed cake and an easy homemade cream cheese frosting that was delicious. Doesn’t it look like ice cream? I totally tricked the kids.

Use any cake recipe of your choice to make them! Oh and I will warn you now because nobody warned me….these suckers are UNSTABLE so if you plan on moving them around they will fall straight onto the floor causing loads of unnecessary cursing. I tried sticking them through foil to help secure them to the tray but in the end they were still very top heavy. Try to: 1) secure them to a tray using frosting or something that will stick 2) not to move them from place to place!

Ice Cream Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 24 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box cake mix, I used Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip
  • Vegetable oil, water and eggs per directions on box
  • 24 flat bottom ice cream cones
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Make cake batter recipe of choice. Place paper baking cups in 24 regular size muffin pan. Divide batter evenly among cups (two-thirds full).
  2. Place ice cream cone upside down on batter in each cup. Bake according to recipe directions or until toothpick comes out clean.
  3. Let cool for 30 minutes, remove paper cups, generously frost and decorate as desired.
  4. For the frosting
  5. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. With the mixer on low, add the confectioners' sugar slowly until all the sugar is combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the vanilla and beat the mixture on high until very smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate, wrapped in plastic for up to 1 week and let the frosting come to room temperature before using.

Notes

Cones may tilt on batter during cooking- they will still look fine once frosted.

Recipe Source: Cake recipe from Betty Crocker website, Frosting recipe from Mom's Big Book of Baking

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http://www.nutritiouseats.com/happy-2nd-birthday-nutritious-eats-a-giveaway/

 

and to those of you who have stuck around to this far….you can’t have a birthday celebration without presents! I wish I could send all my loyal readers a treat but that’s not possible so one of you lucky people will win the giveway….a $50 Lululemon gift card (one of my absolute favorite fitness clothing stores) and your choice of magazine subscription:  Eating Well or Vegetarian Times.

 

  

If you are not familiar with Lululemon get ready to fall in love! It’s pricey but super high quality. Below are some things in the $50 range (I think the leggings are more) just to give you an idea. How cool are those arm warmers for the cool weather? Those are definitely going on my wish list. Also the bra, Ta Ta Tamer is one of my very favorites. I am sure you will find something you like. They also have men’s clothes and always offer FREE SHIPPING!

The giveaway will start today Friday, November 16th and ends Wednesday November 21st at 12:00pm CST

Giveaaway Details: $50 giftcard to Lululemon and subscription to your choice of magazine:  Eating Well or Vegetarian Times

MANDATORY ENTRY: Leave a comment telling me what your Thanksgiving plans are!

OPTIONAL ENTRIES: You can earn additional entries by doing one, or all, of the following (leave a separate comment after you complete each item; each comment will count as an entry). If you already follow via any of the ways listed, just leave me a comment telling me so and that will count as an entry.

1. Follow Nutritious Eats on Twitter  AND tweet  the following: ” I want to win a $50 Lululemon gift card and a magazine subscription from @nutritiouseats http://wp.me/p150Ow-25d #giveaway ”

2. Follow Nutritious Eats- either by subscribing to receive emails (box at the top right side of my blog) OR Follow via RSS ( if you already do just let me know and that counts as an entry!)

3. Follow Nutritious Eats on Instagram 

4. Follow Nutritious Eats on Pinterest

5. Share this post on any social media platform

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Giveaway open to US and Canada residents. One winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by email and have 48 hours to claim prize or another winner will be selected.

GOOD LUCK!

Last but certainly not least, a huge thank you to all of my supporters, blogging friends and fans who share my blog and recipes with others and come back for more! You have made these 2 years of blogging so very rewarding. XOXO


 Items provided in giveaway were purchased with my own money. I have no affiliation with Lululemon, Eating Well or Vegetarian Times Magazine. 

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Comments

  1. Amy says

    Aloha!!!! And many many congrats on celebrating 2 years :) I remember the day you started your fabulous blog out here in paradise. You know I’m a huge fan and always will be. We miss you guys so much! And I miss our daily play dates :) You definitely have inspired me to be more adventurous in the kitchen. You’re the best, Melanie!

  2. Amy says

    You must know that I am going to win this giveaway!! I mean, seriously, lulu lemon!!??!! It’s the bomb :)
    So here it goes…. For thanksgiving we are inviting all of the single Airmen from the squadron over to our house. I’m assuming ill be doing most of the cooking– turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and your delicious cranberry-apple sauce (it has become a staple at our thanksgiving table). My turkey wouldn’t be complete without it! I’m sure it will be a fun day of friends, laughter, lots of yummy food, Macy’s thanksgiving day parade, and football :)

  3. Rachel says

    I am doing my dietetic internship now and have been following your blog for almost its entire existance. I love it- keep it up! My man and I have three different thanksgiving gatherings with family and one with friends. It’s a very busy season for us!

  4. says

    Yay, congrats on two years! I’ve always loved your blog, I really enjoyed reading about how it got started. Love what you said about always remembering why you write your blog – so important!

    For thanksgiving this year my family is doing something different, we have a few condos rented (my parents have lots of time share points) in the Disney area, we are going to spend the holiday w my parents, grandparents, & siblings. We plan to take the kids to a couple fun places & just spend the time together low-key. Everyone’s bringing a few dishes & we’ve ordered a smoked turkey & ham.

    Thanks for the giveaway (I’ve never been to lululemon!

  5. says

    Shared on FB.

    My thanksgiving plans have already been completed, as I live in Canada.
    We had nobody; so cooked something very small for the two of us.
    Our family cannot afford to travel back home @ present, and we cannot go there and leave the pets behind while we travel

  6. Andrea says

    Yay for two years! I have really enjoyed your blog! This is the first Thanksgiving for my husband and I! My parents recently moved, so we will be traveling down to see them! My brothers are coming too! So pumped!!! I love Lululemon!

  7. Brenda Wherry says

    Hi ! Running the Turkey Day 5K with my good friend and then dinner with the family. Tofurky, here I come!

  8. Cynthia says

    For the first time ever, I will not be going home for Thanksgiving. So my husband and I are going to make our own Thanksgiving dinner. I feel like such an adult!

  9. says

    Happy Blogoversay!! I remember my mom making those cupcakes for all my birthdays when I was a kid! They are delicious!

    This Thanksgiving I’ll be with my husband at my parent’s house. We have a small family, but they’re amazing and I couldn’t be more thankful for them!
    Jenn recently posted..Lovely LegsMy Profile

  10. says

    I’m currently living in Korea so my plans are to work…but I work at 250 and a coworker told me about a place that will have a buffet so we are going to go there–I hope the food is great!

  11. Heather says

    Thanksgiving plans involve traveling to see family, spending good time with them and enjoying delicious food!

  12. Kelly Hooper says

    Starting the day out with a Turkey Trot, then enjoying the day with family, eating some turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie!!!

  13. says

    Many many congratulations on turning TWO!! You know I’m a big fan, so keep up the great work! :)

    Let’s see…Thanksgiving. Well, I’m an American living in Canada so we’ve already had our Thanksgiving. But I always celebrate American Thanksgiving with a lunch or dinner at Swiss Chalet. Nothing like the Festive Special to bring on the holiday mood. :-D
    Cassandra recently posted..Roasted Chicken with Tangerine and SageMy Profile

  14. Lauren S. says

    I just recently started following your blog and have really been enjoying it! Happy two years!! For Thanksgiving this year we are having family come down and then the boyfriend’s parents and my parents are meeting for the first time, yikes!! Fingers crossed!

  15. Susie says

    Last, but not least, my Thanksgiving plans are to spend it with my boyfriend’s family, and trrrry to make something healthy and delicious!!! Any ideas? ;)

  16. says

    Great job, Melanie! Congratulations! Your blog is on fire and I love all the recipes! Best wishes for meeting all of your 2013 goals and a hugely successful year 3!

  17. Gretchen says

    Congrats on two years! We love your recipes!

    Anyway, I love lulu so I follow you on twitter and tweeted the give away.

  18. Ashley W says

    Sadly I am spending Thanksgiving alone but I have turkey and pumpkin pie ice cream so that is OK!

  19. Amy L says

    I am having 14 people at my house for Thanksgiving. My husband will make the Turkey, and I’ll be making the sides. I always watch the parades, and after dinner we will play some cards or board games. I just hope I don’t catch the flu from my husband, and I hope he gets better quickly!

  20. Jen Irving says

    I live in New Jersey and for thanks giving I am going down to Seaside Heights to see the damage to our beach house and serve Thanksgiving dinner to those living in shelters.

  21. Jen Irving says

    Hi I followed you on twitter and tweeted the message you said : junkie_jenny is my twitter handle!

  22. Jen Irving says

    I subscribed to your blog! same email as above :) P.S. I stumbled across your blog the other day and absolutely love it and the recipes you share!

  23. Dana M. says

    This thanksgiving i will be making grren bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, corn bread stuffing & pumpkin pie- all from scratch!

  24. says

    I am running with my boy, heading to my family’s house for the big meal, and then decorating my apartment for Christmas with my boy. Absolutely cannot wait :)
    Caitlin recently posted..All InMy Profile

  25. Holly C. says

    no thanksgiving plans here, all our family live far away. just me and my hubby. thankful that my family in NJ are safe and warm!

  26. says

    It is my daughters first Thanksgiving! So I plan to take as many pictures as I can. My mom and grandmother are driving up from North Carolina where we just moved from to see their only grand-daughter. So we are all very excited! We are going to be eating good food and taking lots of pictures. I have just recently realized that she is growing up too fast already and she is only 5 months old. So, I have been trying to capture as many memories as possible. I just followed you on Twitter – I am excited to find another blog to follow.

  27. Gabby S says

    This year we are hosting a friend and his girlfriend. I suppose there will be cooking, cleaning & drinking, some more than others but it will end up with us being super exhausted, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  28. LB says

    I also love lululemon!! For Thanksgiving we are traveling to my grandmothers house. I know I will eat way too much but I hope to counteract my non nutritious eating with lots of running! Hahaha

  29. Steph D says

    I’m Canadian so we celebrated Thanksgiving earlier with a big dinner at my grandmother’s house. So for American thanksgiving, I’ll probably be going for a run! The weather is (relatively) balmy and sunny here.

  30. Billie Jean says

    I don’t have any Thanksgiving plans! :( I’m in the Air Force and stationed too far away from home to visit family. But I’m going to try and make up something in my dorm room, and hang out with some friends!

  31. Natalie Fraser says

    My thanksgiving plans aren’t traditional – a southern themed potluck with lots of friends and family!

  32. Melanie T says

    Thursday celebrating with Husband’s family. Friday celebrating with my family. So two days of good eats!

  33. MelissaO says

    I hope that this plan isn’t too ambitious, but I am hoping to be up in time to take a two hour boot camp class before visiting family.

    wolverina401 at gmail dot com

  34. Megan says

    Mel, I want this giveaway! We will stay in Houston to be with family. And I will make your cranberry salad dish, I’ve been dreaming about it all week!

  35. says

    I always spend Thanksgiving with my husbands family. Everyone cooks a couple dishes and then we all meet up and enjoy. It is my absolute favorite holiday because of the time we get to spend with each other and of course the yummy food :)

  36. Amber Warfield says

    We celebrate Thanksgiving with my in-laws at their house. His Mom is one of 7 kids and everyone comes over so its a full house with lots of love inside!

  37. Lisa Garner says

    I will be cooking up a big Thanksgiving meal all on my own this year for my husband and children. I’m a little nervous since this is my first time doing it all completely alone.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  38. Kellie Conklin says

    We always host Thanksgiving for around 15-20 family members. I love that we host because it means we can have a special dish that we know we enjoy :) Usually family comes over late afternoon, eats, talks, and plays a board game. I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for the awesome giveaway and congrats on 2 years!
    kconklin1028@gmail.com

  39. susan smoaks says

    this year we are going to grammy’s house for Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to food and time with family that we rarely get to see!