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Win This Big ‘Ole Applegate Weinervention Sweepstakes to Save Your Hot Dog Lovin’ Soul

This sweepstakes is done in partnership with Applegate, but is not sponsored. We were provided complimentary product for review, but were not obligated to enjoy the ever loving heck out of it. Since we did, they said we could share the love with you.

kacy applegate

Hot dogs. Bare feet. Summertime. It’s a perfect recipe for the best three months of the year.

Unfortunately, the recipe in most hot dogs looks more like the seedy bowels of a dark, cold winter. Who knows what is actually in those things?!

But the folks at Applegate get it right. Super right. It’s like they invented the hot dog. Sadly, they did not. They did, however, make them so much better. Like way better, better enough that you won’t cringe watching your kids bite in to them.

applegate hot dogs

“Looking more like strawberry frosting than blended meat and bone bits…” writes Treehugger about what’s actually inside the standard hot dog, “the country’s most beloved tube of meat.” There’s mechanically separated meat (or pink slime) from a few animals that could include cow, pig, chicken, or turkey. Don’t forget the corn syrup, flavor additives, tons of sodium, and a whole host of other preservatives and the like. Yuck.

Applegate Naturals Beef Hot Dogs are “cleaner weiners.” They have a super simple list of uncured beef, water, and six seasonings. That’s it! Even my four-year-old can digest this list (and so can her tummy!). They’re tasty and juicy, the way a hot dog should be. They also don’t have that typical gnarly hot dog smell, phew! We felt better eating these since they weren’t stocked with nasty junk.
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6 Secrets for a Healthy Backyard Cookout


By Team Best Life


Spring is in the air and so is the smell of smoky, mouth-watering barbecue! As you prepare to pick up your spatula and fire up the grill follow these six barbecue basics for a healthy and tasty meal:



Look for lean.
Opt for lean meats to keep calories and fat in check. Try burgers made with lean beef (95 percent), buffalo burgers with naturally lean ground buffalo meat, turkey burgers, or veggie burgers (try this tasty recipe). As for steak, look for T-bone or different cuts of sirloin and flank steaks, or buffalo steaks, which are naturally lean. And don’t forget to remove the skin from poultry; it’s loaded with fat.

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Make This Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad with Blackberries and Grilled Baguette Croutons

Don’t you love those moments in the kitchen when inspiration strikes and the result is a meal or dish so outstanding that you have to shout it from the rooftops…or at least from your blog?

This salad is my most recent moment of a) we have nothing to eat, b) those tomatoes are going to go bad soon so I should use them, c) and I guess I have some greens, too, d) and what about blackberries…

roasted tomato salad

You know the drill. This time, a Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad was the result of desperate brainstorm. And if this is the result, let desperation be your muse always!

I had these baby heirloom tomatoes just begging to be eaten and every time I looked at them – so tiny, so juicy, so pretty – all I could think was how incredible they’d be roasted. Drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and crushed garlic, my hypothesis was on the nose. The entire house was filled with their tantalizing aroma, their tender skins burst just right, and they became the shining star in an otherwise ordinary salad.

balsamic tomatoes

On a bed of fresh spring greens, I chopped bites of baby mozzarella. I like to buy as close to fresh as possible, which is the containers of mozzarella balls soaking in water.
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5 Fall Fruit Desserts to Bake, Poach, and Grill Your Way to 5 a Day

By Team Best Life

You already know that fruit is loaded with good-for-you nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals, all of which can keep you healthy, so we’ll save that lecture again. Choices certainly become a bit more limited in the fall and winter (unless you want to shell out for expensive imports), but there are plenty of in-season fruits that totally satisfy your sweet tooth. Our favorite way to get our fruit fix: Have it for dessert. Fruit is the perfect base for desserts because it’s naturally sweet. So this season, grab your favorite fall or winter fruit and bake, poach, or even grill your way to five a day.

apples pears

Bake It

Pop some fruit in the oven for a warm, melt-in-your-mouth treat. You can make a fruit crisp or crumble, which features a crunchy, sweet topping, or a fruit slump, which boasts a moister topping that literally slumps into the fruit while it’s baking. Or top your baked fruit with a little chocolate, as in this Baked Pear with Chocolate Sauce recipe.

Poach It

Simmer your fruit in liquid with a bit of sugar to create a juicy and mouthwatering dish. Want a little more flavor? Try adding some of your favorite spices, as shown in this recipe for Poached Fall Fruit: Grapes, Apples and Pears with Cinnamon, Cardamom and Anise.
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Balsamic and Rosemary Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Honey Thyme Mashed Sweet Potato Will Happily Feed a Crowd

Today, I’m not just giving you the entree, I’m giving you the side to go with it. Because otherwise, this meal would be like giving you the macaroni without the cheese, or the Thanksgiving turkey without the stuffing; they are just meant to be together!

rosemary grilled pork tenderloin

No where near as complicated as it may sound, after this Rosemary and Balsamic Grilled Pork Tenderloin you aren’t going to want to eat anything else ever again. But when you pair a bite of the tenderloin with a bite of the Honey Thyme Mashed Sweet Potatoes, you will reach a level of mouth-feel, flavor euphoria you didn’t even know possible. Food shouldn’t make us happy, but this will.

pork tenderloin and sweet potato

I love cooking with pork tenderloins. This cut of meat cooks quickly, has tons of flavor, and makes plenty of leftovers. At least in our house with a family of three, one tenderloin will cover dinner and a few lunches, too! One added bonus, the tenderloin is leaner than a skinless chicken breast! For real. A three-ounce serving of pork tenderloin has 120 calories compared to 139 calories in the same serving of chicken breast. The chicken has .1 grams more fat than the pork, and 11 grams more cholesterol than the pork.

And tender. Oh me, oh my, oh mama. It’s right there in the name, and it’s not a misnomer.
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