I Bid You Adieu, Arizona

by Jenn (eating bender) on March 28, 2009

I’m glad that so many of you are excited about the Food Blogger Book Club. I’ll send out a message to everyone on Monday or Tuesday of next week so that we can get started. If you are still interested in joining, feel free! It won’t ever be a “closed” club so if you don’t have time right now but would like to join later, that’s fine, too!

Before I get to some eats, I’d like to thank Abi from Quaker, who was kind enough to send me my own box of goodies in addition to the one I gave away a couple of weeks ago!


The robe is nice and roomy, and I’m looking forward to trying the new Simple Harvest bars!

Today was one of those days where I loved everything I ate! I know, I should probably be striving to feel that way every day :) But sometimes it makes a difference when you have a little extra time.


Breakfast saw the return of Kath’s Oatmeal Pancake. I haven’t made one of these in a really long time and I forgot how good they are! I followed her recipe exactly and topped the pancake with a whipped banana + maple syrup + Greek yogurt icing.


I enjoyed it with a mug of Coffee Cocoa – in the dark šŸ˜‰


I spent the morning looking over the syllabus for two of my new classes this spring: Accounting and Marketing Message Strategies. My third class will be Photojournalism. I’m really looking forward to all three, but especially the latter because we get to rent a fancy schmancy camera!! I think you all will be able to guess what I’m planning to do my final project on šŸ˜‰ F-O-O-D!

Eventually I wanted to get up and move, so I did the P90X Core Synergistics DVD. We’re nearing the end of that 90-day journey, and it’s definitely had its ups and downs. I haven’t been following it as precisely as I had first hoped, but I’m ok with that. I’ll provide a more formal review once it’s over.

After the workout, I made a great lunch.


Papa Bender picked up cold smoked salmon at Costco earlier this week. I’ve never had salmon prepared this way before, but it tastes fantastic! I put roughly 2 oz. on top of 1/2 of a whole wheat roll and added a little cottage cheese before topping the whole thing with barbecue sauce (sadly, no hummus). It was delicious!


The rest of the afternoon was spent running errands with my mom. For the trip, I brought a Strawberry Kombucha, as seen on Courtney and Jenna’s blogs recently. I first tried this last summer and have now renewed my obsession. It’s just too bad they are so pricey! I know Gina is not a fan, so I think you either like it or hate it. I like!


While we were running errands, my mom and I found a new treat.


These are SO. GOOD!!! We found them at Costco – they are little chocolate pomegranate delights! You can have 20 pieces for 180 calories and it’s chock full of antioxidants from pom + chocolate šŸ˜‰ I had a handful in the car and was in heaven.


Dinner tonight was a special sendoff from the world famous Papa BenderFAJITAS!!!!!!


He pulled out all the stops tonight :) On one platter we had green peppers, black olives, tomatoes, lettuce and Mexican blend cheese.


Then came the protein, with marinated chicken and flank steak and onions in between.


Finally, the sauces: guacamole (!!) and sour cream. Plus warm whole wheat tortillas.


I had two of the next picture you see – I topped my tortillas with a bit of everything!


This left me very, very full! Almost uncomfortably so…but not quite šŸ˜‰ I still had room for some vino!


I have enjoyed every minute of being home and, as always, can’t believe it’s already over :( I’m looking forward to my new classes (hopefully!) and seeing my friends, but leaving home will always and forever be a toughie.

Note: I probably won’t be able to post again until Monday! Also, please know that I am still reading your bloggies. I wish that there were a million hours in the day to comment all the time. But I get around to it as often as possible, so thanks for being so cool šŸ˜Ž



{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mara @ Whats For Dinner? March 28, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Have a safe trip back my dear! I’m so glad you liked the smoked salmon, its one of my favorite foods!


2 noodlegirl March 28, 2009 at 9:25 pm

OMG love the eats!
I am a big fan of kombucha I just blogged about it I buy at least 2 or 3 bottles each week. I wish they were cheaper! My favorite is the Guava Goddess I have to admit the first time I tried I hated it then months later I decided to try it again and decided its not too bad!


3 Sharon March 28, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Oh my gosh, what a scrumptious spread!!!!!


4 eatlivelovedream March 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

The dark chocolate Pom intrigues me….. yum yum! I always look forward to your posts Jen!


5 Marianne March 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Papa Bender’s fajita spread looks awesome. I wish I had been there for dinner.

Chocolate covered pomegrante seeds sound pretty spectacular as well. Perhaps they will make their way to my Costco one day.


6 getfitfatboy March 28, 2009 at 9:48 pm

mmm love smoked salmon even with avocado with cottage cheese. mmmmmm I want some now. hehe


7 Pearl March 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Dinner looks fantastic! Papa Bender is such a gifted chef!
I’ve seen the dark chocolate covered poms at my Costco, too – but have never tried it because i wasn’t sure if they would be good. Thanks for the review!


8 erinbee March 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm

wow. everything you ate today looks so great!

and those darkchocolatepomegranatebites..!!!


9 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) March 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Everything looks so good!


10 Caroline March 28, 2009 at 11:15 pm

I *love* days like that, when I truly enjoy everything I eat. Happy tummy=happy Caroline.

I had completely forgotten about Kath’s Oatmeal Pancake. I wonder if I could make it sans eggs…

Dark chocolate + pomegranate sounds Ah-MAZING.


11 Moran March 29, 2009 at 12:02 am

I love the fajita set out!
And thanks again for the Book Club! Such an awesome idea. I have been spending time scrolling through that site and its great.


12 Jessica (jesslikesithot) March 29, 2009 at 12:54 am

All your food does look so good Jenn!! And yesss I tried the strawberry kombucha over my spring break last week, and I loved it, I am thinking of making it a weekly treat! :) And Papa Bender fajitas are so fun, glad you got to enjoy some yummy family dinners this week!


13 snackface March 29, 2009 at 12:59 am

Hello darling Bender! I have just left the fam from Spring Break and it’s tough! The comforts of home and family are hard to re-create at school. All your eats do look scrumptious! I hope you have a safe trip back to school and an easy transition back into the grind of things! :)


14 Sarah March 29, 2009 at 1:10 am

Has Papa Bender ever thought of catering? Or catering a Blogger MeetUp/Book Club get together? If so, I’m booking my flight now.

Have a safe trip back to school Jenn!


15 coco March 29, 2009 at 5:12 am

I’m so jealous of every meal of yours!!! that pancake!!! oh….it looks scrumptious….even better than the original made by Kath. and that smoked salmon sandwich with cottage cheese… you’re such a genius combining flavors.. But after I saw your Dad’s fajitas..I know why you have those talents! šŸ˜€


16 Tina March 29, 2009 at 5:21 am

I’ll have to add a Synergy-bottle to my “list of things to buy/try when I go to the US next time”. They look interesting and sound really good. And those choc-pom healthy treats you found look SO good.


17 VeggieGirl March 29, 2009 at 5:39 am

Love the robe and Papa Bender meals!!

Safe travels back to school, girl!!


18 Nicole March 29, 2009 at 5:59 am

Dark chocolate pom?? YES please!


19 Sara March 29, 2009 at 6:02 am

Great eats! Oh my, those chocolate pomegrante pieces looks great. I need to go to Costco.


20 Sarah March 29, 2009 at 6:40 am

mmm bagels and lox—SO GOOD! Try it with laughing cow cheese next time. Or even better—one of my FAVORITE omelettes I’ve ever made was with lox and laughing cow mixed in, it’s amazing!

i’m really scared to try that drink since i’ve heard such very strong polar opposite reviews! I’m scare I’ll hate it and then would have wasted a lot of money on the bottle.

I want that chocolate pom candy!


21 shelby March 29, 2009 at 7:26 am

I signed up for the Blogger Bookclub! =)

I love Synergy! I’m so lucky that it’s on sale at my local health food store, they always have the best deals. I love the strawberry and grapes ones…the guava, not so much.

Aww, isn’t it so hard saying goodbye to AZ…especially when there’s snow back home?! =0


22 ksgoodeats March 29, 2009 at 7:40 am

Delish breakfast!! I’ve seen candy like that at WFs but they’re chocolate covered blueberries and strawberries – they sound really good!

Your dad hooked you UP with the Mexican fiesta! Hope you have super safe travels back :)


23 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) March 29, 2009 at 7:51 am

KOMBUCHA! So glad you liked it!!! What a gorgeous day of eats you had. Great little send off for the new quarter.

Travel safe!!


24 Erin March 29, 2009 at 7:53 am

Good luck getting back, I always hate leaving after breaks! Your eats were fantastic though! I loveee fajitas, but always way over-stuff them. My parents say “you know you can just have more” but I like a giant fajita :)
Have a safe trip!


25 dailydulcie March 29, 2009 at 8:08 am

Kath’s oatmeal pancake looks scrumptious! Yum, I must try that recipe.

I need to get my hands on some of those chocolate pomegranate delights!!

Have a safe trip home!


26 dailydulcie March 29, 2009 at 8:08 am

Kath’s oatmeal pancake looks scrumptious! Yum, I must try that recipe.

I need to get my hands on some of those chocolate pomegranate delights!!

Have a safe trip back!


27 Bec March 29, 2009 at 9:52 am

smoked salmon is one of my favorite lunches!


28 verbalriot March 29, 2009 at 9:58 am

Those fajitas always look so fantastic!!! The new classes sound great, I bet you’re going to LOVE photojournalism :)


29 Meghan Telpner March 29, 2009 at 10:24 am

Just signed up for the book club. Can’t wait to get reading. And all these food photos- amazing!


30 ttfn300 March 29, 2009 at 11:32 am

if i go to arizona, can i visit papa bender??? love smoked salmon :) the cottage cheese is a good idea… dk chocolate pom?? heck yeah :) safe trip back!


31 MELISSA March 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Those fajitas look slammin’!!!!!!!!!!!


32 finkleberry March 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm

my mouth is watering over those chocolate pomegranate loves! <3 oh man.


33 Erin March 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I joined your book club. I saw the words “book club” and was sooo excited! Since moving back to NJ there are no book clubs near me, at least none in my age group! Thanks for starting this awesome club!


34 Kath March 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm

I haven’t made an oatmeal pancake in AGES!

And we have smoked salmon in our fridge too :)


35 Erin March 29, 2009 at 5:30 pm

You already have 65 members! That’s amazing! I’m glad it’s never closed, because I’d love to jump in when I have more time this summer. :) The widget on the side looks great.
I love the dishes used for fajita night. NOM.
I’m sad you have to leave the fam! Your classes sound interesting! The home stretch. It must feel amazing!


36 Emily March 29, 2009 at 6:46 pm

ALL OF YOURR FOOD looks delish!!! Esp. those choc. covered POM!!! šŸ˜€


37 runningwithfood March 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Has it really almost been 90 days of P90X?! Whoa, time flies.

Your send-off fajitas look fabulous! Such a great papa!!


38 Danielle March 29, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Tell Papa Bender I’m on my way, those just look so good!


39 Kate March 30, 2009 at 5:44 am

WO. Costco constantly surprises me! Now I can’t wait to try and find those! I hope they have them at mine…I love making so many toppings out of the Greek yog. I prefer it to cream cheese actually! Safe trip home girlie!


40 Sarah March 30, 2009 at 8:16 am

I’ve wanted to try those dark chocolate pomegranate seeds! I couldn’t quite imagine what they would be like, but now I’ll have to try some. :)

Your fajitas are making my mouth water – even at 9:15am!


41 gina (fitnessista) March 30, 2009 at 9:01 am

papa bender’s fajitas! YEAHHH! he’s such an amazing cheffer, it blows my mind.
the smoked salmon looks glorious, too šŸ˜€
and KOMBUCHA *shudders* i’m still hoping i’ll start to like it one day because it’s so good for you… i still have two in the fridge i can’t bring myself to drink
i’m glad you had so much fun in arizona!!! we definitely need an az meet-up in the near future!
i’m SO STOKED about the book club.. i just joined šŸ˜€ thanks so much for organizing that!
have a wonderful day <3


42 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) March 30, 2009 at 9:02 am

OMG I’m obsessed with Kombucha now too! I had my first last week, the Strawberry, and I loved it! It was startling at first, but yeah, quickly turned to liquid crack. I picked another one up Saturday (guava) and inhaled it as well. Would you believe I paid $5.40 for that second one??? That’s a sign of a true addict I guess, though I’ve only had 2. Definitely working on the will power here.


43 rhodeygirltests March 30, 2009 at 9:02 am


1. i love oatmeal pancakes with peanut butter and bananas on top. i think i am going to bring them back too. i’ve never tried kath’s way though.
2. LOVE the serving platters for the fajitas. very pretty. handwash only i bet!
3. the fajitas in general look yummy. papa bender looks like a great cook!!!!!

and your classes sound great too. what’s your major again?


44 Shannon (The Daily Balance) March 30, 2009 at 9:58 am

Those fajitas look amazing! go papa bender!


45 healthy ashley March 30, 2009 at 11:08 am

The robe and bars look fantastic! Enjoy :)

And (as usual) I’m drooling over all of your food!


46 elise March 30, 2009 at 11:18 am

i dont even know where to begin with your eats, the brekkie looks A-maz-ING!! whipped nanners…mmmm. the pom covered things look so yum yum too. i cant WAIT for the blogger book club and for your photojournalism class. i wonder how great the fancy shmancy camera will make your food look!!! (as if it could look better?)


47 jenna March 30, 2009 at 11:46 am

Wow all of your food looks so good!!!

dark chocolate pomegranate?? YuM X 1000000!! I need to get to costco!! :)


48 lauren (athlEAT) March 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm

whipped banana? w/ greek yogurt and maple syrup? genius. I love finding new ideas – so thanks!


49 lisaheartspizza March 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm

i’ve always been scared to try kombucha because of the floaty things. Your pancake topping is genius, I will def be whipping out(haha) the immersion blender to top some toast with it. Also, papa send off dinners are the best/worst(bc you know you are leaving). My dad always makes pancakes for me, which is breakfast but ya know same idea!


50 eatingbirdfood March 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm

The dark chocolate covered poms sound v. v. yummy.

Papa bender sure knows how to work it in the kitchen. His fajita spread looks delicious. Fajitas are definitely my favorite Mexican dish.

Have a safe trip back to Chicago.


51 Adi(oatonomy.com) March 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Smoked salmon has to be the biggest treat – and yet I forget it exists all the time! :) Great looking lunch!


52 glidingcalm March 30, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Papa B’s Fajitas ALWAYS make me hungry!!!

They are lookin gorgey as always!


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