The One That Got Away

by Jenn (eating bender) on May 20, 2009

It’s almost Thursday! This weekend I am actually going to visit my cousin Lisa in St. Louis :) Some of you may remember her from her visit last summer. She’s a foodie, too, so I know it will be a fun time with plenty of photos! I can’t wait.

It has been an absolutely gorgeous week here in Chicago. I can’t get over how many nice days we’ve had in a row! I took advantage of the sunshine today and went on a nice walk/run outside by the lake. Doesn’t get much better than that! Oh wait…

THEN I went to Mara’s house for a foodie feast! And the world was good.


We had a blast! Us three girls (we had another foodie friend with us, too!) took to the grill and got our barbecue on. The smokin’ hot grill was sizzling with porkchops – I haven’t had porkchops in ages! – red peppers, zucchini and portabella mushrooms the size of our heads πŸ˜‰ Toward the end, we also added pineapple to the mix for some fruity flavor.

While I was a complete novice on the grill, the other two ladies were pro on the tongs. Still, there was that one that got away…


(You were missed by my stomach.)

But all in all, it was hugely successful, and combined with a fresh salad made by Mara, we had the most beautiful dinner! It was so colorful and reminded me of summer, just like the weather.


How gorgeous does that plate look?! Kudos to you, ladies! In the left corner, we have porkchops, grilled pineapple, and fresh spinach salad.


And in the right corner, grilled red peppers, zucchini and that gigantic portabella mushroom!


I had so much fun gabbing :) We watched some random television that ranged from Project Runway to a blind date cake show on the Food Network! Eventually, we broke out the dessert. I decided that I should not bake something (for fear of what the end result should be), so I went to Whole Foods and bought “mini” everything. The spread was great!


I decided on a fruit tart, a marhsmallow-almond tart (heaven!), and a PB-Banana-Pumpkin cookie supplied by my foodie friend. All three of these were gone in a heartbeat. So good!


I definitely went back for seconds on those cookies :) And I took some home for later, too!

It was a fabulous evening, other than the fact that I took the long way home because I don’t know how to read directions. (There, I stocked up on my strikethrough correction for the week, Nate.)

Back tracking a bit, I couldn’t resist showing you guys what I had for lunch today before the BBQ.


Hey, gorgeous sushi :)

Also, I’d like to thank Teri Jo at Amazing Grass, who hooked me up with some amazing goodies!


I can’t wait to test these out and review them for you all! Also, double thanks to the lovely Caroline.

Last but not least, check it out!


It’s the one-year birthday of Fit Bottomed Girls! Jenn and Erin have an amazing blog (and I’m not just saying that because Jenn shares my double “n” awesomeness). They have been holding giveaways all week long, and there’s still time to enter! Check out their blog for details!

Alright ladies and gents, I am outta here! I hope to do some blog catch up this weekend when I have spare moments on my trip to St. Louis. I’m going to wait to post a full recap when I get back, but on Friday, I will be putting up a REALLY COOL THING :) Can’t wait!

Goodnight grill,


1 Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 20, 2009 at 8:39 pm

I HAD SO MUCH FUN!!!! I’m stealing that photo, by the way… I have no action shots of me cooking! I’m glad you finally made it home!

2 Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 20, 2009 at 8:51 pm

I had SO much fun! Thanks for coming all the way out here, I know it was quite the hike! (I don’t know if my last comment went through, so I’m commenting again!) I so rarely get to have people over, and I’m so thrilled I got to have you two for dinner :)
I can’t wait to hang out again!

3 verbalriot May 20, 2009 at 9:14 pm

I LOVE your BBQ foods! Yum, that’s delicious. And I’m curious about the review of those products, I’ve been wondering!

4 Jenny May 20, 2009 at 9:15 pm

what an awesome dinner party .. and props on the clutch decision to bring whole foods goodies .. though im sure anything you baked wouldve been wonderful :)

5 sweetandnatural May 20, 2009 at 9:24 pm

HOORAY STL!!! I can’t wait to see what you do while you’re in my hometown!!! :-)

6 Anne K. May 20, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Wow, that food looks great. I love salads with grilled veggies, they’re so delicious! Those desserts look so good, too! I’m looking forward to your Amazing Grass review.

Have a great night!

7 Tyler May 20, 2009 at 9:42 pm

i love grilled veggies, and grilled pineapple is divine!!! nice choices on the mini dessert spread…everything looks delicious!

8 Sarah May 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm

I am so jealous you got to hang with Mara, have her cook for you, eat mini lucsious looking desserts! I was there in spirit. And I totally would’ve eaten that pepper. Think Mara still has it?

9 MELISSA May 20, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Love BBQ’ed Pineapple – extra tasty!

10 broccolihut May 20, 2009 at 10:44 pm

How tragic about the red bell pepper! I hate to hear about veggies being missed by the stomach! Your meal still looks pretty stellar–got any leftovers for me?
Love that brown rice sushi too!
I LOVE Amazing Meal products–they worked quite well in my smoothies. I haven’t been able to find the Amazing Grass bars though–anxious to hear what you think of them!

11 burpexcuzme May 20, 2009 at 10:49 pm

what a fun day you guys had! grilling season is HERE!
poor red pepper…it would still be welcome in my tummy! the 5 second rule!

12 lilveggiepatch May 20, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Your grilled veggies look like heaven! And those Whole Foods desserts… don’t even get me started. Their desserts are always SO GOOD.

13 Bec May 20, 2009 at 11:00 pm

have a great weekend with your cousin, the BBQ looks like so much fun!

14 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) May 20, 2009 at 11:13 pm

What fun! Sounds like a great time!

15 Andrea May 21, 2009 at 12:12 am

I want to be there! So jealous of you girls!

16 wholefoodswholeme May 21, 2009 at 12:17 am

i adore BBQs!! this looks like so much good food, and quality friends time πŸ˜€ the mini desserts are so cute!! have lots of fun with your cousin!

17 Pearl May 21, 2009 at 1:40 am

omgosh! your time with mara sounds sooo fun!

18 Erica May 21, 2009 at 4:38 am

So much fun! Love grilled veggies and pineapple- tastes better than any other cooking method!…and those desserts…drool. Great night :)

19 Shelby May 21, 2009 at 5:33 am

What an amazing dinner!!!

20 Nicole May 21, 2009 at 5:42 am

So much fun! Everything you guys had looks terrific. Especially those Whole Foods treats!!

21 eatavegan May 21, 2009 at 6:20 am

Sounds like an absolutely fabulous weekend! I’ve got plans to drive in and check out the Green City Market once or twice this summer… We have our own fabulous farmers markets out here, but I figure I can skip one Saturday to sample the awesomeness the big city has to offer!

22 Krista May 21, 2009 at 6:46 am

Great bloggie BBQ! Sounds like you all had a fab time!

23 brandi May 21, 2009 at 6:47 am

do you guys not abide by the 5 second rule? red peppers are expensive! :)

looks like a fun foodie dinner, and I totally need a WF here after seeing those desserts!

I want to try those greens bars – i can’t wait to see what you think about them!

24 ksgoodeats May 21, 2009 at 6:47 am

Grilled veggies and pineapple – my favorite thing about summer!! SO GOOD! Those WFs desserts look incredible, yum!

I got my amazing grass package thanks to the Cabana but I’m a little freaked to try them out – I’ve got to get my big girl pants on for these πŸ˜‰

25 healthy ashley May 21, 2009 at 7:05 am

Is it okay to be completely jealous? :)

26 justine May 21, 2009 at 7:30 am

Yum! I love the grill! Its my fav way to eat and you can practically cook anything on there. Dessert looks great as well! I have always resisted temptation to get dessert from Whole Foods but I think next time I might have to give in :)


27 snackface May 21, 2009 at 8:06 am

Bahaha I drop food on the ground all the time! I blame extremely minimal counter space. It’s not me being clumsy or anything…;)

It looks like you have been having an absolutely fantastic week! It’s pretty gorgeous here too! I just wish, somehow, I could come up to Chicago and join you all before I leave for SF in 9 days. Alright, so maybe it will have to be when I come back!

Those desserts have just made me unsatsfied with my breakfast. Need baked goods!

Hope you have a wonderful day :)

28 Shannon (The Daily Balance) May 21, 2009 at 8:20 am


29 Shannon (The Daily Balance) May 21, 2009 at 8:20 am


30 Shannon (The Daily Balance) May 21, 2009 at 8:21 am

got a little carried away there, huh? meant to say SO FUN! and SO JEALOUS! desserts look incredible! (then my computer when nutty and just started submitted half written comments!)


31 Alisa - Frugal Foodie May 21, 2009 at 8:22 am

Aside from “the one that got away” this has to be the most appetizing post of the day! Everything looks so delicious, everything!

32 Jenn@slim-shoppin May 21, 2009 at 8:38 am

I checked out Mara’s site, so I had to check out your pics too!

Your sushi looks awesome! I’m interested in what you think of the things you got to try out, I’ve never heard of those products before.

I agree, the Chicago weather last night was awesome!!

33 Angela May 21, 2009 at 9:09 am

Great post! I love your writing style- it always makes me smile. I have noticed that you seem more content with your posting/blogging lately, do you think that is a reason for deciding to free yourself from the 3 posts a day mentality? Your positivity in your posts is infectious!

And I had no idea about FBG celebrating 1 year! Wow I would have thought it was much longer!

34 Natalie M May 21, 2009 at 9:50 am

hey hey i live in st louis :) it’s a great place…i can’t wait to see what you and your cousin do…and i’m hoping you try some new stuff that i haven’t done/seen/eaten yet so i can learn from you πŸ˜‰

the weather’s going to be BEAUTIFUL here this weekend…get excited!

35 Anna May 21, 2009 at 9:50 am

GAH so good! I’m jealous of all your blogger meet-up foodie fests! Looks like tons of fun.

36 glidingcalm May 21, 2009 at 10:01 am

sooo much YUM! and i love your sushi pictures too! THEY ALWAYS make me hungry! sushi and grilling= 2 of the BEST summer foods!!!

can’t wait for the REALLY COOL THING, since now I can be part of the REALLY COOL THING! I’ll wait till you do your intro though- you’re always much better!

37 CurlyTop May 21, 2009 at 11:37 am


Hey darlin! It’s so great to β€œsee” your shining face this morning!

Wowser! I haven’t grilled anything in ages. I MISS grilled red bell peppers. So AMAZING. Great job with that photo today. Looks great!

Have a great Thursday day girlie!
With Love,

38 Alison May 21, 2009 at 11:52 am

All that food looks wonderful! I love grilled food. I have a grill that I’ve never used before – I may try it this weekend.
Glad you had such a good time with the bloggers.

39 fitforfree May 21, 2009 at 11:58 am

That bbq fare looks INCREDIBLE!!! That lost red pepper is so sadβ€”they’re delicious!

40 ttfn300 May 21, 2009 at 12:03 pm

what an awesome dinner!! almost looked like a squished animal under the tire! i don’t know why you didn’t want to bake anything, silly πŸ˜› Here’s to the summer weather and many more bbqs!

41 Priyanka May 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm

What an amazing day you had! I love the BBQ foods, so yummy and the desserts..drooling!!

42 luckytastebuds May 21, 2009 at 1:33 pm

wow Mara is AMAZING. She’s just…a rediculous cook she should open up a restauarant!!! i would go!! all the time!! πŸ˜› I love your plate and how you always manage to make your food so gorgeous…as if it were a pet poodle. hahhaha

JENNN COUUUNT DOWN until graduation!! exciting!! Evanston is SO nice these past 2 days i’ve been making my rounds to whole foods more often than usual. hahahaah

By the way, if you get a coupon book from WF, they have oikos $1 off coupons, and since WF is currently also doing a promotion for $1.25 per container, it’s only 25 cents!!!! Just fyi. πŸ˜›

43 Danica May 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm

It sounds like you had such a fun time! I am a total sucker for all mini things especially those mini desserts at WF.

YUM to sushi and all of your great eats!

Off to check out the birthday girls site – thanks for the link!

44 Jessica (jesslikesithot) May 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Grilled vegetables are the best, and so summery! The pineapple must have been such a SWEET addition! :)

Hope you have a fun weekend Jenn!

45 Anonymous May 21, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Have been a silent reader of your blog. I also have a foodblog two years old. i would love to review prosucts in my blog. How do I get started?

46 karla522 May 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Wow, that looks soo fun Jenn! Grilling is always a great way to welcome in summer. Have a safe trip and have a blast in STL! :)

47 Sharon May 21, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Oh wow, such a fun time! I totally haven’t had grilled vegetables in such a long time!!

48 Emily May 21, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Your grill night looks awesome! I’m so excited for summer eats! :)

49 Melissa S. May 21, 2009 at 8:32 pm

What a great time w/ Mara!!! I soooooooo wish we lived closer together…not fair. my foodie friends need to be closer to me. :)

and I’m LOVING those WF mini desserts…I see them every time I go and want to get one but can never choose…:D

50 Marianne May 25, 2009 at 12:33 am

Grilled pineapple is one of my favourites! I wish I had fun foodie friends who lived out here – sounds like a great evening. And I’m glad you did share that sushi deliciousness with us πŸ˜€

51 mama May 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm

oh my word those mini desserts look just to die for, we dont have a whole foods close so i have to drool from afar!!

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