Cookbook Giveaway: Cooking Light Lighten Up America!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Everything went well over here- we were invited to friends on Thursday and I only had to bring 3 dishes. Since the last few years I have been cooking the entire meal, this was quite a treat. The food was all delicious and the company was lovely. The kids were ready to play with other kids and take a break from mommy so we all thoroughly enjoyed it. In case you still have leftovers you are wondering what to do with, check out my Thanksgiving Leftover Potato Pancakes recipe (of course you could save this for Christmas or Hanukkah dinner leftovers too).

Friday we basically stayed in PJs for most the day when finally I got so stir crazy I suggested we run a quick errand and pick up dinner. I was really trying to avoid any Black Friday shopping because it’s just not my thing. We ran into Michael’s looking for something for my daughter’s birthday party that is next weekend and were out of there in 20 minutes. I think since it was 4:30pm all the crazy people die-hard shoppers were already done.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty quiet too as there was more house cleaning and a little Holiday baking to be done. I LOVE Holiday baking. My absolute requirements are homemade gingerbread houses, rolled out sugar cookies, a treat for Santa (usually a cookie or fudge) and lots and lots of pumpkin bread. Anything else that gets made in the month is just bonus.

One of my favorite traditions is making homemade gingerbread houses. Honestly this is fun for single people, girls night out, families and kids.

I got went ahead and made the dough over the weekend and I will cut out the pieces sometime this week and bake them so they are ready to assemble when we are. This is last year’s house!


I am trying to cross off some of our traditional December activities/traditions just in case the baby decides to make an early appearance! Oh and I have been using the same recipe for years with cut-out templates from Martha Stewart’s website. Let me know if you want the recipe but I won’t bother linking to it since Martha doesn’t seem too fond of bloggers. ;)

I have also been enjoying a lot of cookbook/magazine reading over the long weekend. I think I have mentioned before just how many magazines I subscribe to and it’s a bit insane, but I LOVE the Holiday editions so I am making sure to read as many as I can. Speaking of cookbooks, since I am one of the members of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection, I was sent their new cookbook, Lighten Up America to enjoy!

It was just published the end of October and includes 150 recipes that have been made lighter, but just as delicious, as their guilt-laden namesakes.

You remember when I made the scones here? That recipe was from this cookbook. To be honest I haven’t had time to try any other recipes but it’s a beautiful book that would make a great Christmas gift. You won’t necessarily find anything too unique in here but it’s a nice place to go for lighten-up traditional dishes.

Cooking Light Lighten Up America! Giveaway

These are a few of the dishes from the cookbook I thought I’d try next:

Chicken Tikka Masala

New Orleans Gumbo

Onion Rings (that are not deep fried)

Butternut Squash Salad

Cooking Light Lighten Up America! Giveaway

Did I mention that my friends at Cooking Light sent me 2 cookbooks? One to keep and one to giveaway to one of you!! You should definitely enter to win a copy for yourself or to gift to someone during the Holidays.


Winner will win a copy of Cooking Light Lighten Up, America! Cookbook!


Just enter via the Rafflecopter below.

And this is directed at the non-bloggers who might not be clear on using Rafflecopter….the mandatory requirement is to leave a comment. Super easy. Once you click on the rafflecopter it will unveil the question you should comment about. I really don’t care whether you answer that question or not, but you’ve got to leave a comment. I noticed during my last Suja Juice giveaway there ware a ton of people who entered via rafflecopter but never left a comment on my site so your entry won’t be valid. Sorry!

If you don’t know how to leave a comment….and the reason why I am going through this is because there were a LOT of people that entered the rafflecopter last time that didn’t leave a comment (mostly my friends, haha) so they either 1) don’t know how to 2) were just ignoring the rules….so here is my quick tutorial.

Look at the top of the post in the right hand corner and if you are the very first person to leave a comment is will say (so just click on that, enter you email and comment and you’re done):

Screen shot 2013-11-30 at 2.22.44 PM

or if someone already has left a comment it will start showing the number next to the message box (just click on the message box, enter your email and comment and you’re done) :

Screen shot 2013-11-30 at 2.16.51 PM

Ok sorry if that seems silly but I had to go through several winners last time that didn’t follow the rules.


Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Questions: How was your Thanksgiving? Did you have a long weekend?

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  1. I have many cooking light recipes that I use regularly! They are awesome!
    jessicaisbaking recently posted..November 2013 Foodie PenpalsMy Profile

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says:

      Aren’t they? I have always loved their recipes, hence the reason I have been a magazine subscriber forEVER!

  2. So glad to hear that you had a good holiday. I can’t believe that your nearing the end of your pregnancy too! Thanks for sharing the cookbook. I actually don’t think that I’ve ever made a Cooking Light recipe.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..It’s Official. I’m a Yoga Teacher.My Profile

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says:

      I can’t believe that- you need to, they are always so good! I can’t believe I am nearing the end too. I can’t wait!

  3. Glad you had a nice holiday! Staying in PJ’s is what we did one day too. I love Cooking Light! I was a subscriber for years.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Holiday Fitness Gift List – ClothingMy Profile

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says:

      Even though I got stir crazy, it was nice not have to rush out of the house to get kids to school on time. :)

  4. Miz says:

    this noncook loves her some cooking light magazine.
    Im an enigma that way!
    Miz recently posted..What are you GIFTING yourself?My Profile

  5. My mom always used Cooking Light recipes… mainly from their magazine, but she has several of their books. This means that I’ve grown to love their recipes as well :)

  6. Laurie says:

    I often make Cooking Light recipes. They are always tasty and not too difficult.

  7. Kaylin says:

    I have! I even have their web page bookmarked on my laptop.

  8. Genevieve says:

    I love cooking light recipes! I’m a dietetics student and they always have delicious recipes that are fun.

  9. RunInBoise says:

    I actually haven’t made anything lately, but I should!
    RunInBoise recently posted..Struttin’ For Stuffin’ Race RecapMy Profile

  10. Joan says:

    I have made too many cooking light recipes to count. They always turn out great

  11. Bethany C. says:

    I’m sure I have; I used to subscribe to their magazine.

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says:

      Hi Bethany,
      Congrats! You are the winner of the Cooking Light Cookbook giveaway. Please message me your mailing address (via the contact form or email me at: melanie (at) nutritiouseats (dot) com. :) Enjoy!

  12. Kristen says:

    This cookbook looks awesome! I love comfort foods, but hate how bad they are for you. This seems like an easy way to eat what you love but be a bit healthier. I hope I win!
    Kristen recently posted..Weekend Recap and Some Monday Motivation!My Profile

  13. I want this so bad!!! I love Cooking Light and have made tons of their recipes.

    Fun fact: back in high school I actually modeled for Cooking Light once! They did a spread on the healthiest cities and Tucson, AZ (my hometown) was one of them. I got to go horseback riding and get a facial for the shoot….perhaps that’s why I’m so partial to the magazine, haha.
    Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A. recently posted..How To Be The Biggest Loser at Holiday PartiesMy Profile

  14. Amy says:

    Aloha, and I adore your gingerbread house! I remember when we decorated them with the 4 kids in our house in Kailua :) Such sweet memories!
    I would love the cookbook, too :) Love Cooking Light. Happy Holidays :)

  15. Natalie S says:

    I’ve made tons of Cooking Light recipes and absolutely love them!

  16. Melanie Hawk says:

    Absolutely…. I love Cooking Light Recipes. I use them quite often. :-)

  17. Steph says:


  18. Mary Clay says:

    I LOVE Cooking Light! I’ve made so much from them I’ve lost count.

  19. Julie says:

    No I haven’t before

  20. Tracy Smith says:

    No I never have but I am interested in them.

  21. Brittany Ricciardi says:

    I have never made any Cooking Light recipes, the cookbook would sure help out as an inspiration!

  22. Kaitlin says:

    Yes, quite often!

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