Cookbook Winner + Sweet Treats

by Jenn (eating bender) on May 15, 2009

Happy Friday, everyone!!

Did ya miss me? Wait, don’t answer that πŸ˜‰ I certainly have been missing you. The sporadic posting is going to continue through graduation, so mark your calendars for June 24! That’s when I will officially be graduated, moved out of my apartment, moved in to my new apartment and on a glorious three week vacation before “real life” begins.

(Just kidding about the “mark your calendars” – although you can certainly feel free.)

I have some rather exciting news! Last week, the infamous Papa Bender informed me that for a combined birthday, graduation and Mother’s Day (for my mom, not me!) present, he used his frequent flier miles to buy my mom and me two tickets to MAUI!! We will be going there for 5 days in early July. I almost fainted when he told me…but I settled for a gigantic hug and thank you. It was so unexpected and so generous of him! My mom has been under some (“some” is the understatement of the year) intense stress lately, and we all know from some of my whinier posting moments that school has been kind of an energy drainer this quarter. We are both looking forward to 5 days of no commitments, no work and no expectations together. Thanks, Papa Bender!

Speaking of presents…I’m sure you all would like to know the winner of the PETA Vegan College Cookbook Giveaway? After compiling all of the comments, emails and link love, the Random Integer Generator has spoken! Drumroll please…

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-05-15 15:13:09 UTC

That makes our winner…Danica! Here’s the winning comment

2009 May 13 Danica

It’s hard for me to pick one of my favorite VEGAN recipes so I’ll post two.

Pad Thai for a more complicated version – this recipe is also gluten free!

And Pizza – perfect for the college student, right?


Congratulations!! I will be contacting you soon to get your info :)

Thanks to everyone who entered. I especially enjoy getting emails from those of you who don’t have blogs. It’s really great to hear from you!


I have continued to feel like a very lucky girl this week. The outpouring of love, support and kindness from other bloggers amazes me! I have received some amazing foodie-themed gifts that I have been meaning to show you all because I think they would be GREAT gift ideas for anyone on your list!

1. CCBerries from my family


I have received these from my family every year since I was a freshman (the link is to last year’s birthday post!). They are ripe and juicy strawberries, and the chocolate is rich and decadent. I have nothing but positive things to say about this company. I’m even friends with the owner on Facebook!


You can bet that between Bobby and me, these strawberries were gone FAST!

2. Edible Arrangements from Miss VeggieGirl!


One can never have too many chocolate-covered foods. Am I right, Katie? Anyway, these were great! I loved the apple slices because it was something unique that I had never tried before. I look forward to checking this company out more in the future because I think they would be great for special events and parties! Thank you so much, VeggieGirl! I hope you enjoy your VEGAS VACATION!

3. PB Cup Brownie Bites + Blueberry-Pecan Oatmeal Cookies from Monica of Mon’s Appetit!


I have had the pleasure of getting to know Mon for quite some time now. She is actually a fellow Minnesotan! These baked goodies and her sweet card help characterize her as the stereotypical “Minnesota Nice” (check the link for more info!) :) I couldn’t wait to break into these.


As I suspected, both treats were amazing! The PB Cup Brownie Bites were perfectly proportioned and have just the right balance of chocolate + PB goodness. And I absolutely loved the dried blueberry and pecan pieces in the oatmeal cookies. As a huge oatmeal raisin fan, I thought it was genius to try to switch it up with other dried fruits and can’t wait to try it on my own! Thanks, Mon!!

4. MELISSAAAAA!!!! (Sorry, I just felt that screaming it would help show my appreciation!)


Is this girl cute or what? From what I can guess, she started with a graduation card, then added a birthday card and then added a congratulations card :) I did not know that this package was coming, and it was a very nice surprise! Melissa and I have done a few bloggie exchanges in the past, and every time she comes up with something new and exciting for me to try. This time was no different. First, there was her Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Muffins.


How come I can never get my muffins to look like that? πŸ˜‰ I’m a novice, she’s a pro. I crumbled this mini pumpkin pie into my cereal yesterday and today!


The result was a subtly sweet, pumpkin + chocolate sensation! These are the perfect size and taste awesome when you douse them with almond milk. In fact, I highly recommend doing that with every kind of muffin from this point on. You won’t be disappointed.


Yesterday afternoon, I was also able to try one of Melissa’s Nutella Brownies.


Amazing brownies from an amazing person! Thank you so much for everything, Melissa :mrgreen:

I’ve decided that Melissa and Mon need to open a bakery together. They both start their names with “M” so I’m sure they could come up with something cute. Here’s my ideas:

  • M-Squared
  • Melissa & Mon’s
  • Mon & Melissa’s

Alright, that’s all I got so far. Could use some work. Any ideas?

Whew! As you can see, it’s sugar overload at my place! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Fortunately, Bobby has a huge sweet tooth, too. He is enjoying all of your goodies! THANK YOU ALL!

This post has gotten out of control! I will save some of the recent eats (crack wrap, anyone?) for a future installment. I am SO excited because tonight is a BLOGGER DINNER in Chicago! We are going to Cafe Laguardia. What should I order???

I hope you all have a great weekend! And for all my fellow bloggers, please know that I am still trying my best to keep up with all of you!

Life is sweet,


1 Run Sarah May 15, 2009 at 10:41 am

Happy Birthday! All the desserts look so delicious. Have fun at the blogger dinner!

2 Ellen (Peace in Motion) May 15, 2009 at 10:47 am

Such a lucky lady to be sent to to MAUI! That is going to be one amazing vacation. I hope you have the best time

3 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) May 15, 2009 at 10:48 am

What a happy post!! You are just radiating joy my friend! So fun to hear of all of the LOVE in your life =)

4 Natalie M May 15, 2009 at 10:48 am

how about Mel & Mon’s? MonMel’s? MelMon’s?

Can you tell I’m bored at work? :)

Have a great weekend!

5 Sarah May 15, 2009 at 10:50 am

wow- those goodies look amazing! I’m drooling on my keyboard here!!

6 FoodsThatFit May 15, 2009 at 10:54 am

MAUI!!! Wootwoot!!! Ooh, have a blast Jenn, you deserve it!! Wonderful treats, chocolate covered strawberries are my FAVORITE! I am drooling over here. :)

I agree with the bakery idea with the bloggers, between those ladies, and all of the other awesome bakers on these blogs, they could have quite the business. They could call is something like Blogger Baketeria…..that’s about as creative as I get, lol!!

Have a wonderful weekend!

7 Sarah May 15, 2009 at 10:59 am

Yes, I’ve missed you. Consider my calendar marked!

I am so jealous/excited about your Maui trip! Have you ever been? What part of the island are you going to? I’ve been three times in the last ten years, and one of my great friends is a photographer for the Maui News, so I have all sorts of tips, if you need them!

Have a great weekend and lots of fun at your Blogger dinner!

8 Anne K. May 15, 2009 at 11:04 am

WOW, Maui!!! I’m jealous, but way happy for you πŸ˜€ One of my dreams/life goals is to go to Hawaii, especially Maui. I know you’ll have an awesome time! How exciting!

And all your food looks incredible! Yum πŸ˜€

9 Danica May 15, 2009 at 11:05 am

Wooohooo! I won, I won – I am beyond excited! Thanks so much Jenn!

Look at all that chocolate covered goodness and baked stuff. Reading your post today totally made me hungry and craving sweets :)

Thanks again – I can’t wait and you rock!

10 Danica May 15, 2009 at 11:07 am

P.S. Enjoy your fabulous vacation and Happy Birthday too!

11 jenngirl May 15, 2009 at 11:13 am

I SO missed you!! Glad to hear you’re almost done, and I’m totally marking my calendar πŸ˜‰

WOW Papa Bender is amazing! How generous and sweet of him! I’ve never been to Maui, I think it sounds like a fabulous mother-daughter destination.

You’ve been enjoying so much sweetness (food and gifts), I love it, and those strawberries are certainly calling my name!!

A Blogger Dinner?!? Have so much fun, I’m jealous πŸ˜‰

12 brandi May 15, 2009 at 11:30 am

I’ll mark my calendar – June 24th is my birthday, too!

What awesome packages, and that is so sweet of your dad! That will be so much fun with your mom :)

13 Marisa (trim the fat) May 15, 2009 at 11:43 am

amazing treats, Jenn! Enjoy your dinner – looking forward to hearing all about it!

14 Yasmin May 15, 2009 at 11:46 am

I have always wanted to go to Hawaii! What great friends and presents you received! Fabulous birthday!

15 Sarah (from See Sarah Eat) May 15, 2009 at 11:49 am

Oh my gosh, I could so use a Nutella brownie right now! Those are like my two favorite words, haha. Yum :)

16 coco May 15, 2009 at 11:50 am

such a great happy positive post!!! So happy for you!!! πŸ˜€
happy birthday, early congratulations for your graduation!!!
so many goodies you’ve received, enjoy!!!

17 Jess May 15, 2009 at 11:52 am

How on earth did you manage to wrangle so many treats? Have fun in Maui!

18 carolinebee May 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm

O my that place sounds amazing!! DEF get plantains, and maybe the chicken steak, or the Jumbo volcano shrimp- OR paella, ahh too much goodness! Perhaps a mojito?? ;D

I can’t believe your pops surprised you and your mom, that is going to be the most amazing trip. Coincidentally, my mom, stepdad and I went to Waikiki for our family/graduation celebration trip- it was SO SO fun and such a great way to end your college experience with a RELAXING bang!! Good luck in the final stretch love.

19 Shelby May 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I need to go wipe up my drool now…

Those treats are all spectacular!!!

20 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) May 15, 2009 at 12:42 pm

How exciting about Maui!

All the baked goods look delish!

21 Amisha May 15, 2009 at 12:42 pm

I’ve been to Cafe Laguardia! I know this is not very healthy, but the cuban nachos are fantastic there. They are on tostones (plantains fried and flattened) with the perfect amount of topping on each one. They are sooooo good.

22 ksgoodeats May 15, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Ahhh SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!! Aren’t you just bursting out of your skin yet?! I know I would be!! All of those treats look incredible!

That restaurant is by my cousins house in Chicago!! I’ve never been there so it’s now on the list! Have a blast :)

23 Jordan May 15, 2009 at 1:35 pm

OMG, how do you contain yourself, woman?! I have a serious obsession with chocolate covered fruit – especially strawberries. I’d be as big as a house!

24 Alison May 15, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Wow! Maui! Lucky girl.

I love all the food gift pics. Lucky girl again. I especially love the chocolate strawberries. Yum!

25 glidingcalm May 15, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Ha! wow you really have had a sugar overload!!! You mentioned it to me yesterday, but now I really can see what you mean!!

AND WOW. hurray for Maui! that will be SOOOOOOOO perfect for you, and from what you’ve told me- for your Mama!! I hope she’s able to relax!! My Mom has aged so much this year from stress, and it kind of makes me worried. Hopefully coming home will help with all of that. She says she has been floating around the house since making the date/decision for me to move home!!!

Hurray for oatmeal cookies, nutella brownies, edible arrangements, happy bday strawberries, pumpkin muffins (SO GOOD, YA?), and blogger dinnerrrrrrrrrrs! can’t wait to see your review on the restaurant!

take care love!

26 Hangry Pants May 15, 2009 at 2:16 pm

624 is also my birthday, so I will mark my calander. Seriously though, I always look forward to your posts!

I love what should I get questions because I love reading menus! I love that they have a vegetarian menu. I would gt plantains and Cuban Veggie Combo. Have fun!

27 Melissa S. May 15, 2009 at 2:38 pm

yay!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the goodies and so jealous of all the other ones you got!!! the strawberries?!?!?! goodness I want those even more!

and you totally rock my blogg’n sista!!!

28 bobbi May 15, 2009 at 2:38 pm

wow how sweet are bloggies:) Melissas brownies look AMAZING!!!!

29 Kiersten May 15, 2009 at 3:46 pm

You got so many treats this week! All that chocolate is making my mouth water.

That’s awesome about going to Maui! You must be thrilled, I am very happy for you. Your dad is awesome.

30 snackface May 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm

This may sound creepy, but I really have wondered how you’re doing and where you were! Haha. Your posts are just RADIATING with happiness and joy, and you are so deserving of the beautiful things coming into your life. Hello Maui!!! I can’t wait for the pics of that trip and all the fresh, tropical fruits!

AH! Look at all those goodies! I seriously need a brownie. Like, now.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend! :)

31 Marianne May 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Looks like the world is just smiling on you lately :) Enjoy all your treats, and the surprise vacation to Maui πŸ˜€ And the blogger dinner – one of these days, I’m hoping to meet some bloggers myself.

32 TorontoGirloutWest May 15, 2009 at 5:22 pm

WOOHOO!!! You’re just on a good news roll lately! πŸ˜‰ Yaaay for grad trips to Maui!

33 chocolate covered katie May 15, 2009 at 5:45 pm

I love your philosophy, Miss Eating Bender!

Chocolate gives you endorphins… endorphins make you happy… happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.

(Gosh, I hope you’ve seen Legally Blonde. Otherwise you’re just going to think I’m insane!)

34 verbalriot May 15, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Maui?! That’s so exciting :) I love reading your blog because there’s so much JOY and HAPPINESS in it! It’s amazing to see all the love, both in your “actual” life and “blog” love from the community.

Puts a smile on my face!

35 Aimee May 15, 2009 at 7:40 pm

My husband and I went to Maui last August and loved it so so so much!!! What a wonderful gift. Your strawberries (and other goodies) look great, I actually remember how wonderful your strawberries looked last year too:)

36 Bec May 15, 2009 at 8:40 pm

omg sounds like a great way to unwind and celebrate with your mom!

37 Sharon May 15, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Oh wow, everything looks great! I totally want to try those strawberries with chocolate, mmmm!

38 Heather Eats Almond Butter May 15, 2009 at 9:27 pm

OK, I was so excited to hear about your Maui trip Jenn, but then I saw the words “Nutella” and “Brownie” in the same sentence, and my brain went to mush. Love that Melissa…need to give her my address. :)

Hope you have a wonderful blogger dinner. Can’t wait to enjoy one myself with all the Chicago cool kids.

Have a wonderful weekend!

39 broccolihut May 15, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Lovin’ all the sweet treats in this post!!

PS Will you pack me in your suitcase for Maui?

40 Lara (Thinspired) May 16, 2009 at 4:31 am

Jenn! I can’t lie…I’m kind of jealous reading this post! MAUI?! Matt and I went to Oahu for our honeymoon and came back wishing we had added another week to see Maui. It’s going to be so amazing and you deserve it!
ANNNND all those fabulous treats…I’ve always wanted an Edible Arrangements stash!
I HAVE missed your posts but keep truckin’ until June 24…it will be here before you know it!

41 Meghan Telpner May 16, 2009 at 7:03 am

We always get back what we put out. The sweetness you received is surely a testament to the sweetness you bring to others. Enjoy it all!

42 ellie May 16, 2009 at 9:39 am

great packages! I always mush up cake/muffins in milk- my whole family does. It’s so good that way!

Have fun tonight!

43 Erin May 16, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Oh my god, girl! You hit the jackpot! I love all the goodies you got and how about that trip, hay daddy!
I vote for Monlissa. Ugh, I know.
I’ve definitely missed you. Duh!

44 ttfn300 May 16, 2009 at 2:11 pm

yes, yes i have missed you!!! holy moly what an amazing gift from papa bender!!! how do you deal with so much excitement in your life :) i am so happy for you my dear! everything looks so delicious!

45 Menden (Skinny Menny) May 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm

All of those treats look soooo delicious, esp the chocolate covered strawberries! mmmmmm!

46 RK May 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Whoa!!! What a fun mail week :) I would love to get bombarded with such great looking treats. I hope you had a fabulous birthday. Good luck with finishing up the quarter … and such exciting news about the pending Maui vacation!

47 Jessica (jesslikesithot) May 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Jenn!! All of these treats look incredible!! I would have definitely gone after those nutella brownies!! And crumbling a muffin over cereal? What a good idea!!

You are just radiating happiness and I am so excited for you and everything going on in your life right now. That trip with your mom will be so much fun too!!

Have a good week!

48 Danielle May 17, 2009 at 5:48 am

Wow Maui! Hope you have a fabulous time!
What an exciting time in your life right now, enjoy every minute of it!

49 jocelyneatsfresh May 17, 2009 at 11:05 am

mmmm edible arrangments!!! I recieved a few boxes of thoseee last week! (I ate too much/felt sick afterwards) πŸ˜‰ All of those baked goodies look divine!!

50 Erica May 17, 2009 at 1:48 pm

WOW! Maui is awesome- you and your mama will have SUCH a good time! I can’t wait to see all your pics! It will be the perfect end of a hectic semester for you. Love all the sweet treats- especially those choco covered strawberries- this would be like a dream gift for me :)

51 lex May 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm

jen- i hope you have fun an maui you lucky girl! all your food looks delecious!

for everybody else-
i save started my new blog and have NO readers or supporters :’( i was wondering if anybody would like to come and support me!? i will comment your blogs back! any person is appreciated!

52 homegirlcaneat May 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm

You will LOOOOOVE Maui! My aunt and uncle live there and it is absolute paradise!

I am loving all your chocolate covered goodies! It matches your header! :)

53 Monica May 17, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Oh Jenn, you are SO sweet! I am so glad you liked the treats. I really love baking for others so it’s a dream of mine to have a bakery someday!

Maui?! How exciting! I’m sure you and your mom will have a wonderful time there!

Only a few more weeks left of school! Hang in there!

54 Angela May 18, 2009 at 8:54 am

WOW!!! ALL those goodies!!! So awesome girlie. You are certainly loved!

55 Fitzalan May 18, 2009 at 9:39 am

“three week vacation”
Oh how jealous!

And WOW do all those treats look incredible?! I have to say, my waist size would grow astronomically if I had all of that at my house!

Happiness Awaits

56 Skip ( May 27, 2009 at 3:43 am

Glad the chocolate covered strawberries arrived just as they should be, it’s always a little funny when I know what someone is getting for their birthday a week or two before they do…and some names and email addresses just stand out when the orders are being reviewed.

Have fun in Hawaii, finals, graduation and moving… sounds like it’s going to be a busy month…


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