“Reunited and it feels so good!”

by Jenn (eating bender) on February 5, 2009

For the record, spending 5 days out of the blogosphere is STRANGE! I’ve never gone that long without checking up on all of you 😉 I can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!

As evidenced by the title of this post, I am back and feeling 120% better now that I’ve turned in all three of the papers that were due this week. Going home was amazing, as always, but not very conducive to getting any work done! It’s too easy to procrastinate with my family – they are bad influences! (Just kidding, fam, if you’re reading.)

Another form of procrastination: the Super Bowl! I know I’m four days late on this, but it was a great game and a lot of fun to watch. Especially when we had a great meal courtesy of Papa Bender. On the menu: homemade chili!


Above is a picture of the chili before the slow cooker was turned on. The recipe included the usual kidney beans and ground beef, but Papa Bender also included grilled steak and a veggie recipe that included chopped red, yellow and orange peppers (genius!) and onions. The addition of the peppers was my favorite part. Once the chili was cooked, we served it up buffet style at half time with penne pasta, Mexican cheese, red onions and sour cream.


I topped my bowl with the pasta, cheese and sour cream. AH-mazing!


Back to School

Now I’m back to chilly temperatures and classes. But I’ve got no complaints because on Tuesday morning, I was greeted with an incredible package from The Fitnessista!


Miss Gina and I participated in a bloggie exchange. Not only did I receive a cute card and those HOLY YUM macaroons that never fail to make me drool when I read her blog…she also sent me some of her whole wheat banana bread!! You can find both recipes here.

So what did I do first? Well, after ripping gently opening the packages, I tried some of each! I broke out one of the macaroons first.


These are so big and so AMAZING! By far the best macaroons I have ever tasted and I’d even go so far to say that these are one of my all-time favorite baked goodies ever! Then I tried the banana bread.


This bread is amazingly moist and full of banana goodness. I told Gina that she needs to start charging people 😉 I’d gladly pay for something so good! Thank you so much, Fitnessista!! I am so lucky to have met you, both in the blogosphere and in real life!

That was my Tuesday. Fast forward to today, and I am still enjoying those delicious baked goods! I incorporated the whole wheat banana bread into this morning’s breakfast.


After working up a sweat with the P90X Legs + Back and Ab Ripper workout, I was ready to refuel. I’m dubbing these Banana Bonanza oats. I combined 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal with 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and 1/2 sliced banana. Once the oats were done, I added in 1 tbsp. of flax and topped the whole bowl with a small piece of Gina’s banana bread.


The banana bread made the oats v. yummy! I also had some Coffee Cocoa.


I had a morning full of classes where I turned in my final two papers and breathed a huge sigh of relief. During my second class, I snacked on a new Pure Protein flavor.


The chewy chocolate chip was pretty good, not too fake tasting by Pure Protein standards. This one and the peanut butter are definitely my two favorites.

When I got home from class, I made myself a “second” lunch.


I used the last of my La Tortilla Factory wraps (gotta buy some more!) and spread 2 tbsp. of Sabra hummus in the middle. Then I added 2 oz. deli turkey and some spinach.


Of course, I couldn’t go a day without another macaroon :) I’m addicted!


Now I’m just sitting here, catching up on some DVR’ed shows and getting ready to do some serious blog reading! I have decided that today is a non-homework day, and that’s that! I’ll worry about my midterms this weekend.

Random Question

What are your plans for this weekend?

Although I have a midterm to study for, I am planning to take some time out for fun! It may include shopping, dinner and a movie :) We’ll see!


1 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) February 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm

That chili looks great! Very yumm.

This weekend I am going to an conference for my sorority. Blah. That means sitting in meetings all weekend. I do NOT sit still well.

Enjoy your weekend! Glad you are back!

2 Mel February 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Looks like you got spoiled by Papa Bender with his awesome chili!

This weekend: I have to work and then I’m heading to see my parents for a day. It should be a fun time!

3 seeleelive February 5, 2009 at 5:42 pm

hey bender spender!! those oatties loook delishhh and i could go for come coffee right now-lucky for you, today is my h/w today! welll now is anyways, which leads me to the question why am i blogging?

hehe, anyways….the superbowl crockpottin’ dish looks deliiisssh, amen to that! (so happy we found one another on the face!! more ways to keep in touch with my favorite blogger!! glad you are back!!)

4 Marianne February 5, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Love those macaroons! They look like bundles of coconut-y goodness 😀

This weekend’s plans include cleaning out my oven, grocery shopping (of course), and heading out to a friend’s place for brunch on Sunday!

5 VeggieGirl February 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm

SO MUCH DELICIOUSNESS!! And hell yes for the weekend being on its way.

6 Emily February 5, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Welcome back!! :)

This weekend, I’m planning on some homework too, but also a long run with my running club and lots of relaxing! I hope you enjoy yours!! :)

7 gina (fitnessista) February 5, 2009 at 5:58 pm

hey! i’m so glad you’re enjoying the goodies 😀 thank you as always for the lovely shout out! yes, the macaroons are highly addicting!
papa bender’s chili looks like the PERFECT superbowl food!
so glad you’re feeling better and back in the blog world- i missed you!
have a great night <3

8 jenngirl February 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Aw Jenn, glad you’re taking a day off from homework, definitely sounds like you deserve it!

That superbowl chili looks like some serious business!! Yummy :)

Enjoy all of your DVR shows…and your weekend! I’m hoping to go see “He’s Just Not That Into You” tomorrow, then go out with friends!! woo hoo

9 Summer Slim February 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm

I’m going to visit one of my best friends who live out of town. I completely need a good old girls weekend! Hope you have a good 2 days off!

10 Bec February 5, 2009 at 6:36 pm

That chili looks delicious, love all the topping options. Hope you are enjoying your day off from homework!

11 ksgoodeats February 5, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Papa Bender needs to open a restaurant!

I am SOOOOOO envious of your macaroons from Gina! They sound fabulous :)

Glad you’re rockin’ the la tortillas!! No weekend plans here :(

12 sarahannmatheny February 5, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Oh Jennnnnnnnnn (to make up for the ‘n’ I forgot), how I’ve missed you and your second lunches!

Papa Bender did not disappoint. Pasta on chili?! Am I in Mexico or Italy? Crazy good!

Glad you are helping your DVR out. Mine is SERIOUSLY constipated with the last three LOSTs. Maybe some POM juice will help it out?! 😉

Have a great night, sweets!

13 Lindsey (Mrs. LC) February 5, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Those macaroons look divine!!! And I just La Tortilla Factory wraps this past week – yum! I can’t believe they’re 100 cal! Usu. wraps of that size can range anywhere from 140-160 calories!

14 Shelby February 5, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Faaabulous gifts, the desserts are making me drool =)
Love that you put it in the oatmeal!

Have a good night

15 Allison February 5, 2009 at 6:59 pm

So glad you’re back!

That chili your dad makes LOOKS UNREAL! Its totally the steak that has me intrigued! YUM!!!!

Gina’s macaroons look so good – I just dont think they would come out as well if I did them myself!

16 Krista February 5, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Great package! The treat look amazing!

Glad to hear your paper s got handed in and are out of your way now.

Papa Bender makes some seriously good looking chili!

17 carolinebee February 5, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Love the superbowl flashback 😀 My weekend is lookin’ pretty full- but I want to squeeze in, He’s Just Not that into You!! Doesn’t it look good??? Have fun tonight bebe!

18 brandi February 5, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Glad to see you and the recap! That chili looks so good :)

Happy blogging!

19 Anna February 5, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Those macaroons are literally drool-inducing- practically made me want to lick the laptop screen.

On a different note, I’ve been following eating bender for awhile now, and I wanted to let you know that today I finally started my own food and fitness blog! It’s called Blue Plate Special, I’d love for you to check it out sometime!

bpspecial (dot) blogspot (dot) com

20 Meg February 5, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Hope all the school work goes well and that you have plenty of fun time too! All the eats here look yummy, especially the macaroons!

21 Sara February 5, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Papa Bender’s chili looks amazing!! And so do Gina’s macaroons. :)

22 ttfn300 February 5, 2009 at 8:51 pm

lovely eats, and i’m jealous of your package :) that sounds funny…

23 Missy (Missy Maintains) February 5, 2009 at 9:18 pm

I am so jealous you got to try Gina’s macaroons and banana bread! Yum!!!! Tomorrow night the boy is coming over. Saturday the exterminator is coming over to get rid of some mice EWW! Then I am going home to philly to see the parents!

24 Erica February 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Your dad’s chili looks so good! Love the thicker meaty chunks! So glad you are back and feeling better. What a fun present to return to as well! Gina’s macaroons- So incredible! Weekend- Body Attack training in Florida! What about you?

25 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) February 5, 2009 at 9:22 pm

I love chili! Mmmm, it looks so good!

26 Sharon February 5, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Wow, what an awesome package to get in the mail!
And oh my, I want some chili!!!!

27 Melissa S. February 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm

This weekend i have my 7 on the 7th run through RuntoFinish’s blog: http://runtothefinish.blogspot.com/2009/01/7-on-7th-particpants.html

Papa bender’s chili looks amazing! it makes me want to go back to eating meat! haha…j/k, but it does look amazing!

28 Heather Eats Almond Butter February 5, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Oh my gosh…the macaroons. Amazing little balls of coconut delight, no? I hid the last 2 from Chris, and I don’t want to eat them because I don’t want the Holy Yumness to end!

So glad you had a great time at home (Papa Bender’s chili looked amazing), and that your 3 papers are all done. Hooray for a no homework day!

As far as my weekend goes, I’m hanging out with some of my high-school girls tomorrow night, and then I don’t have much else going on…oh wait, I have to work Saturday. But, just a few hours.

I have plans to go see Twilight Monday night with my coworkers as I finally got them to read the books. So excited – can you believe I haven’t seen it yet?!?

Oh, and thanks for the tip on Foodbuzz. I actually signed up with them last week. Just waiting to hear back. Exciting!

29 Kailey (SnackFace) February 5, 2009 at 10:58 pm

I was so happy to see bender have a new item in my google reader! I only just started a blog and it feels odd when I can’t check on everyone’s blog, lol. I couldn’t imagine what it was like for a seasoned pro like you to miss 5 days!
I loved your eats! Good luck with prepping for your midterm!

30 eatingbirdfood February 5, 2009 at 11:16 pm

So glad to see your back and relaxed now that your 3 papers have been turned in.

Papa Benders Super bowl chili looked awesome- he’s one good cook- it must run in the fam.

The Fitnessista’s Macaroons have been making my mouth water- they look so delicious. Enjoy!

This weekend I’m suppose to be in a friends film and it’s also Isaac’s b-day so we will be doing some celebrating. I hope yours is fun!!

31 Caroline February 5, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Great to have you back!

32 Lara (Thinspired) February 6, 2009 at 4:49 am

Glad to have you back, missy! I love reading about Papa Bender’s creations. Steak in chili is pretty freaking awesome!

Congrats on having all of that work behind you. I hope you enjoy your weekend..don’t think about midterms just yet 😉

33 Andrea (Off Her Cork) February 6, 2009 at 5:46 am

Jenn, guess what I found at Whole Foods? Whipped cottage cheese! *hifive* Can’t wait to try it. 😀

Mmm chili. We are having some crazy cold temps lately so chili sounds so good.

Weekend plans: tonight dinner with friends, tomorrow chilling, Sunday maybe some shopping?

34 HangryPants February 6, 2009 at 6:19 am

I love the chilli bar and that you added macaroni to yours. Something I would do.

I am jealous of your fitnessista treats. I always thought the macaroons were much smaller myself. They look soooo good!

Glad you’re back – missed ya.

35 foodsthatfit February 6, 2009 at 7:36 am

Those macaroons look amazing! I am doing a trail race tomorrow and working on Sunday! Hope you have a great weekend!

36 Danielle February 6, 2009 at 7:44 am

Gina’s macaroons look so good!
And that chili looks amazing, definitely craving some chili right about now.

37 monsappetit February 6, 2009 at 8:43 am

Tell Papa Bender that his chili looks amaaaazing!

I’m glad you’ll have some time to relax this weekend! I really want to see He’s Just Not That Into You! Have a great weekend :)

38 Sarah February 6, 2009 at 11:07 am

yayyyyy i’m glad you’re back! i missed you!!

papa bender’s meals look delicious, as always! I think i’m going to have to take a trip out to AZ so he can cook for me! And I’m so jealous of your bloggie exchange—I’ve been wanting those macaroons for ages now!

i didn’t like the chewy chocolate chip bar, I thought I was going to pull out all my teeth trying to eat it, they weren’t kidding when they say it’s chewy! The flavor was definitely good though.

You better take a break this weekend and enjoy yourself, you’ve been working to hard! Maybe go see Twilight for the 19889372th time, I bet it’s in the cheap theaters by now ; ) hahah, i’m (semi) kidding!

39 Jess February 6, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I love it when you go home because your family has the coolest food.

40 luckytastebuds February 6, 2009 at 12:59 pm

woohooo! so nice to have you back! :) That Chili looks amazing. Your add is such a great cook!!!

41 beautifuldancer February 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm

all that food looks AMAZING!!
oh my the way jenn, I changed the title of my blog and (since mine is on your blogroll) just wanted to let you know! the new title is vitamin.c philosophy (so it matches my url now)


42 Maggie February 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I don’t know! I might make those macaroons 😉

43 Kersten February 6, 2009 at 3:27 pm

OMG those macaroons do look yummy. I would have ripped into them, too 😉 This weekend Chris and I are going to Willakenzie Estate for a wine tasting event, and I have a feeling lots of cleaning and grocery shopping are in my future, too.

44 lauren February 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm

the chili looks so delicious…especially with all those yummy toppings! the macaroons…wow! have a great weekend!

45 Erin February 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm

YUMMY! I want some!
So glad you had a blast at home. I have that same crock pot!
I’m working. Joy!

46 Ryan February 6, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Oh I love CHILI! And chili over (or under) pasta is something I haven’t done in such a long time! Yum! I’m so jealous of the macaroons…they’re making me seriously hungry!

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