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Chicago Tastebuds Challenge

by Meghann on August 21, 2010

While tasting our way around Chicago last Saturday, Arnold & Oroweat (the tour sponsor) encouraged us to let the great array of food inspire a couple of fun creations of our own.   

They even put a contest behind it!

Anyone who joined the Chicago Tastebuds Tour last Saturday was asked to submit a Chicago inspired meal using an Arnold/ Oroweat product (coupon provided via HLS swag). But, we couldn’t just submit any ole recipe – we were told we would be judged on the creativity we put in our own spin. Creativity? I got this!

So let’s review what we ate, shall we?

  • Brautwurst with Saurkraut at Berghoff’s
  • Brownie at the Palmer House
  • Chicago Mix Popcorn
  • Chicago Style Hot Dog
  • Cheeseburger at the Billy Boat Tavern

I could have taken this so many ways, but since they were asking for creativity I kind of ‘cheated’ and have decided to submit a tried and true recipe that I LOVE!

What did I choose?

The Chicago Style Hot Dog

My spin?

My Almond Butter Carrot Dog of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰


What you’ll need:

  • Hot Dog Bun
  • Spinach
  • 1 Large Carrot (roasted for 20 mins @ 425)
  • Generous Spoonful of Almond Butter

My Arnold product of choice. (Thanks for the coupon Arnold!)


You start with the bun.




Roasted Carrot


Almond Butter (the best part!)


The finished product.


With a few parsnip fries & bbq sauce


And leftover kale salad with chickpea salad.


I hope I win! ๐Ÿ™‚


We’re about to head out for my friend Christie’s wedding and since I highly doubt she’s reading my blog while getting ready, I thought I would share the fun wedding present I made for her.


Since I was the ‘official photographer’ of Christie’s bachelorette party the other weekend, I thought it would be fun to make an album for her of all the photos I took.


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE making photo projects in iPhoto. They always come out so professional and you get a lot of bang for your buck.

The hardback photo project is basically a new age scrapbook. ๐Ÿ™‚



I hope she likes it!

I know the wedding gift for the couple is a little Christie centric, so I paired the photo book with a gift card to Target. That way Mat has some use of my gift as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m grabbing an AllieBar to eat on the road.

See ya later!

1 Sana August 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Oh wow! That looks so professional!!! I love it!

2 britchickruns August 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm

You should definetly win the competition – that’s the healthiest hot dog I’ve ever seen!
And I totally agree with Sana above – so pro!

3 Tina August 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I used to do scrapbooks, but now they take sooo much time (and money for all the cutesy stuff) that I just stick with photo books. I mainly use Shutterfly and they always look amazing.

4 Michelle August 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm

I’m always amazed at the different renditions of food you make with such healthy options! and ones that look so mouth-watering ๐Ÿ™‚

5 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) August 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I’m allergic to raw carrots but I’m thinking a cooked carrot would be delish with ab too. Also, I made a calendar with iPhoto for my parents one Christmas–so fun to make and use!

6 pursuitofhealthfulness August 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm

That is such a cute photo album! Macs are great for those… although I still do like the personal touch of handmade photo albums, every now and then.

7 christina cadden August 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I hope you win! Love that photo book you put together! What a great idea!

8 Lizzy August 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I love the iPhoto books!! They are amazing! Nice work.

9 Jean@RoastedRootsPumpkinSpice August 21, 2010 at 5:57 pm

That carrot dog is so funny and cute! I hope you win for your creativity.

10 Kristy @ August 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm

That “hot dog” looks soooo good! I’ve never had the carrot-almond butter combo, but I’m definitely going to! I think you’ve got a champion recipe on your hands… ๐Ÿ˜‰

11 Chelsea August 21, 2010 at 7:18 pm

The photobook looks awesome! I’ve always wanted to make them, but I’ve never felt that my photos were of photobook quality. Yours look awesome though!

Not sure that I am sold on the carrot/almond butter combo. I LOVE LOVE LOVE almond butter, but with a cooked carrot….Maybe if I am feeling adventurous.

12 tropicaleats August 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Ahhhhhhhhhh I think I know the girl in your photo album (which I LOVE btw)! Christie????? I met her in college! Blog world is getting smaller and smaller. eekeekeeeeeek

13 Julie @ Pickley Pear August 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I love the carrot dog!! Arnold was an awesome sponsor for HLS! I really wish I could have gone on the Tastebud tour – I am one of few attendees at HLS that LOVES meat ๐Ÿ™‚

14 Halley August 21, 2010 at 8:33 pm

That carrot dog is unreal! Takes one heck of a woman to polish that off! And one solid set of chompers ๐Ÿ˜€

15 runningwithsass August 21, 2010 at 9:09 pm

that photobook looks so cute!

16 hundredtenpounds August 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm

That’s such an awesome looking book and a great gift idea. How do you get it published for gifts?

17 Barry August 21, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Holy Shit this sucks ass! Weak sauce Meg…

18 Lauren @ Team Giles August 21, 2010 at 10:04 pm

that carrot dog is the BEST IDEA EVER!! I’m a vegetarian and I don’t like the “meatless hot dogs” they taste weird. I’d love to try this though. ๐Ÿ™‚

19 Karen August 21, 2010 at 10:36 pm

WOWZA! Carrot on a hot dog bun. You’re like some kind of magician.

20 Sarah August 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm

I love iPhoto. We made personalized calendars for far-away family one year. Great gifts!

Have fun at the wedding. I love love ๐Ÿ˜€ I love weddings!

21 Rachael August 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm

That’s a pretty sweet gift!
The carrot dog looks great, and it makes me giggle in a way that’s very 14 year-old-boy-esque. Maybe I ought to grow up, but I’m always up for a laugh (especially if it tastes good!)

22 Marina August 22, 2010 at 2:23 am

Oh I am so making myself a carrot dog, soon!
That’s such a great idea!

23 rebecca lustig August 22, 2010 at 9:35 am

whoaaa, roasted carrot? on a bun? this is one of the best parts of reading your blog. youre a genius.

thinking of you

hope you have a splendid sunday, dear
love, becca

24 Rachel August 23, 2010 at 11:43 am

Love the healthy hot dog. I have recently become an almond butter fan, so I’ll have to try this. Have you tried Barney Butter yet, it is the ultimate almond butter!!

25 Robin August 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I just ate a roasted carrot w/ AB on an arnold’s thin for lunch and have to say thank you for the suggestion. Yum! I highly recommend this to everyone!

26 Meghann August 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Glad you like it! Seriously my favorite combo ๐Ÿ™‚

27 Monica C. August 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm

OK, Meghann, the carrot dog has got to be the weirdest thing you eat! ๐Ÿ™‚ You should have a poll where readers vote on what we think your weirdest concoction is (though most of your readers agree with you on taste ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I think it might be a tie between the carrot dog and the okra fries! XOXO

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