Fireworks (And Not Just in the Sky!)

by Jenn (eating bender) on July 4, 2009

As I type this post, I am watching fireworks on TV from the East coast as I anticipate the fireworks here in Arizona. In other words, life ain’t too bad 😉 Happy 4th of July, everyone!!

I’ve got to keep this post somewhat short because I am in the midst of packing for my trip to Maui – I leave TOMORROW! I hope to have Internet access while I’m there so that I can blog about the restaurants and activities my mom and I will experience, but if not – expect a full recap when I return next Saturday!

Our 4th of July feast was nothing short of magnificent, and I’m sure that you all know by now who that can be attributed to: none other than Papa Bender!!


Our meal included the American classics in honor of the holiday. There was corn-on-the-cob.


Fresh watermelon balls (this was my contribution to the meal – ha, the easiest part!!).


And the all-time fave, Chicago hot dogs, with grilled veggies on a pretty plate thanks to P. Bend.


Here’s my hot dog on a whole wheat bun, covered in veggies and ketchup.


And in order to get into the proper “spirit” (get it?!), some white wine was also involved.


It was a delicious meal, with good company and good conversation. I love holidays :mrgreen:

But the best was yet to come. You know, I’m always up for life-changing opportunities, and when Gena presented one the other day and Kath confirmed how amazing it truly was, I knew I had to give it a try. So just what did I decide to make?


Banana Soft Serve! And wow, Gena wasn’t kidding. I actually ended up using the Vita-Mix for this one because we don’t have a food processor. I kept the speed on variable low (1 to 3) and it only took about one minute before it was ice cream-like in texture. I then found a parfait glass in my parent’s cabinet and knew it would be perfect for the occasion.


This was simply two bananas, but the result was FANTASTIC. Seriously, try this right now! It tastes just like ice cream, but it’s all fruit – I don’t think it gets much better than that! If you need further proof, I just so happened to document one of the bites…



Speaking of parfait glasses, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, K!! Love that your birthday is also America’s 😉

And that, my friends, was the highlight of my holiday. I hope all of you enjoyed yours! And even if you’re not in the U.S….I hope you still had a very happy 4th of July 😉

Time to pack…ahh! I hope to still be able to read your blogs while I’m gone!

Happy holiday,


1 nikislosingit July 4, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Must try Gena’s Banana Soft Serve right now!!! Man, that looks yummy!

Happy 4th to you, from you neighbor up north! :)

2 broccolihut July 4, 2009 at 10:42 pm

What a phenomenal holiday meal! Those watermelon balls look like they were prepared by a professional:)

I MUST try that banana soft serve, considering my love of blended food.

Have a great time in Maui!

3 Sara July 4, 2009 at 11:03 pm

You’re dinner looks great! Yum, yum! Have fun in Maui! :)

4 Lara (Thinspired) July 5, 2009 at 3:29 am

That’s it, your photos just sold me on the banana soft serve. Looks heavenly!
I love seeing all of your family dinners :) You can tell it was a team effort 😉 Happy 4th, Jenn!

5 Lara (Thinspired) July 5, 2009 at 3:30 am

P.S. Safe travels–and please take lots of pictures so we can live vicariously though them 😉

6 eatingbirdfood July 5, 2009 at 6:14 am

Isaac’s mom told me about banana soft serve about a year ago and I had slipped out of my mind until Gena’s post reminded me. I made some the other night and was in total food heaven. Basically amazing!

Happy 4th of July Jenn!


7 Lina July 5, 2009 at 6:18 am

I used to be a raw foodie and for breakfast would mi x the frozen bananas with raw cacao powder, try that for a truly decadent, chocolatey treat! Sooo good!

8 Krista July 5, 2009 at 6:54 am

Maui? You are SO lucky!!!

That’s a great 4th of July dinner….especially the veggie covered hotdogs.

I’m not a big banana fan, but that “ice cream” makes me want to try it out. I just happen to have a ziploc full of frozens ones, too!!!

9 Meg July 5, 2009 at 7:27 am

What a fun 4th and look at that soft serve! Have a fun and safe trip!

10 ksgoodeats July 5, 2009 at 7:30 am

I have to get on this banana train!! Have a safe trip and, more importantly, have a BLAST!!

Thanks for the birthday love :)

11 VeggieGirl July 5, 2009 at 7:32 am

BANANA SOFT SERVE!!! Gena’s recipes are always brilliant.

Happy belated 4th, my dear!

12 Shelby July 5, 2009 at 7:38 am

MAUI?!?! Wow, take me with you?!

Those hot dogs look delicious! I love all the fixins on top.
Mmm and the watermelon is perfect summer food.

Banana Soft Serve? Yes, please!

13 Gena (Choosing Raw) July 5, 2009 at 8:28 am

I am so jealous of your trip! Hoping to escape at the end of the summer myself.

In the meantime, I am THRILLED that you loved the soft serve! Check out the “whipped cream” I posted last night…;-)

14 Mara @ What's For Dinner? July 5, 2009 at 8:47 am

Have a blast on your trip!!!! I’m so beyond jealous… maybe one day I’ll make it back there!
I’m going to try the banana soft serve later today! Bananas are in the freezer!

15 lilveggiepatch July 5, 2009 at 8:49 am

Mmm, looks like a great dinner! I have to get on that soft serve train! NOMNOMNOM.

16 healthy ashley July 5, 2009 at 9:02 am

All of your food looks so fresh and amazing!!

HAVE FUN on your trip!!! I can’t wait for the photos :)

17 glidingcalm July 5, 2009 at 9:13 am

haha if I hadn’t gotte my meat fill yesterday (2 brats, 2 hot dogs, steak, half a burger, 3 ribs – NOT KIDDING), I would be craving that sausage!! and it still looks amazing!

hurray for banana soft serve!! i need to try it asap!!


18 jocelyneatsfresh July 5, 2009 at 11:16 am

looks good!!!!

mmmm banana softserve = so , so good..try adding peanut butter to it whenever you’re feelin a little saucy 😉

19 Pearl July 5, 2009 at 11:25 am

yummm banana soft serve!

20 Rebeca July 5, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I’m making softserve today! Looks fab!

Have a fun/safe trip!

21 Aimee July 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm

I have been wanting to try out that soft serve, I need to add some more bananas to the freezer first. I can’t wait to see your pictures of Maui, I so love it there!!

22 Jenny July 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm

glad you had such a wonderful holiday, my dear! Travel safely to MAUI!! ow ow — i am jealous for REAL! xo

23 karla522 July 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm

It looks like you had an AWESOME July 4th celebration! The cookout looks delicious. Safe and fun travels–I look forward to reading about and living vicariously through your Maui adventure!

PS: Papa Bender’s hot dogs look much more appetizing than all those Nathan’s ones I saw scarfed down yesterday 😉

24 leslie July 5, 2009 at 7:35 pm

that meal looks fabulous! i am dying seeing everyone make banana ice cream. i so miss my food processor!

25 Marianne July 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Sounds like you had a great 4th of July :) Your banana faux ice cream looks very creamy and delicious – if I liked banana all on it’s own, you’d bet I’d try it out.

Have a great trip to Maui!

26 Bec July 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

mmm that banana ice cream looks fantastic!

27 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) July 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm

The banana ice cream looks great!

Have a fantastic time in Maui!

28 Maria July 5, 2009 at 10:41 pm

LOL, love the spirit joke, Jenn 😉 Ooooh the hot dog looks pretty darn good with all those veggies and ketchup loaded on top. Mmmm, the picture of that banana soft serve is fabulous. Isn’t it great? Hope you have a great time in Maui!

29 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) July 6, 2009 at 5:34 am

WEEE!!! Have so much fun in Maui! It’s SO incredible and I NEED to go back before I die. Have you been before? I was there with my parents twice in my teens (but my parents had been there a couple times before) and we made sure to fit in two restaurants both times: one is called Pacifico, and I HIGHLY recommend it…it’s on the west side of the island, and I can’t remember any other specifics, though I believe it’s in a small shopping center. I had fish for the first time ever there! Macadamia & coconut crusted mahi mahi. I die.

The other restaurant I could name if I tried, but it’s kind of inland and in the middle of nowhere – it looks like someone’s little house…I want to say it’s named after someone, like “Mama _____’s” or something like that, but anyway that’s no help to you so just go to Pacifico and I hope it’s still amazing!

30 Anna July 6, 2009 at 6:50 am

um, Maui?! Awesome! And I must try that raw banana fro-yo because I LOVE frozen bananas!

31 brandi July 6, 2009 at 7:17 am

i’m glad you had a good 4th and I hope you and your Mom have a safe trip today!!! The trip will be so much fun and I can’t wait to read about all your adventures!

32 Fitzalan July 6, 2009 at 8:04 am

You are in Maui right now…so jealous!

MMMM, that banana soft serve looks like heaven!

Happiness Awaits

33 Rose July 6, 2009 at 8:09 am

You may have inspired me to make that. I have been looking for a good alternative to ice cream!

The Papa Bender meal looks absolutely wonderful (and healthy). I want to come over for dinner sometime! :)

34 javakit July 6, 2009 at 8:17 am

looks fantastic! Will try!

35 ttfn300 July 6, 2009 at 8:47 am

Papa bender does it again :) I need to try that soft serve!! HAVE A FABULOUS TRIP Jenn !!!!!

36 Shannon (The Daily Balance) July 6, 2009 at 11:15 am

i must try that banana ‘ice cream!’ Looks like you had a wonderful 4th 😉

37 Jessica (jesslikesithot) July 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Have a fun, safe trip Jenn!!!! The cruise is going to be amazinggg, can’t wait to hear all about it!

I always love papa Bender’s meals! Such a classic american meal is RIGHT, you can’t enjoy the summer holiday without a hot dog & some corn on the cob!

And hmmm, I gotta try that banana soft-serve…but I don’t have a vita-mix. :(

38 Erika W July 6, 2009 at 1:12 pm

That’s not a Chicago-style hotdog…you put ketchup on it!! 😉

Looks like a great time!

39 Alisa - Frugal Foodie July 6, 2009 at 1:38 pm

I loooove banana soft serve. Yummy!

40 kahluaabba July 6, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Yum the banana soft serve sounds great, and that 4th of July feast seems amazing!!!

I hope you have a safe trip to Maui and have a lot of fun. Take Care!

41 MarathonVal July 7, 2009 at 12:31 am

I love all the fam dinners!! Your whole Bender fam seems like they are all awesome cooks just like Blogging Bender!

42 Ruth July 7, 2009 at 5:43 am

I contributed watermelon to all my bbq’s too! Way easier than any thing else :)

43 Ruth July 7, 2009 at 5:50 am

ps- hope you don’t mind, but I added you to my blogroll

44 jocelynsteiber July 7, 2009 at 7:51 am

Your hot dogs look great! I though I was being creative by putting ketchup and relish on mine! haha

45 justine July 7, 2009 at 8:04 am

Looks like a fab 4th!! Have a great trip!!


46 Heather Eats Almond Butter July 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I hope you’re having a blast in Hawaii – can’t read to read all about your Maui adventures.

That banana ice-cream is amazing. We had some over the weekend as well. I need to stop eating my bananas so that I can freeze them and make more.

CD booked our flights to Chicago for Labor Day weekend. Would love to grab breakfast or brunch with you and Mara that Monday if you’re available. :)

47 lookingforserenity July 7, 2009 at 3:24 pm

mmm that banana soft serve looks delightful :)

48 Melissa July 8, 2009 at 4:04 am

I can’t wait for corn on the cob!!

And I’m so sad that my blender isn’t powerful enough to make that soft serve “ice cream” although maybe I should at least give it a try…

49 verbalriot July 8, 2009 at 9:01 am

I already have bananas freezing in my freezer for this wonderful dessert 😉

I hope you have an amazing time in Hawaii!

50 Melissa S. July 8, 2009 at 10:44 am

what a great 4th Jenn! I love the banana fro yo…i’m def going to have to try that!

and i can’t wait to hear about MAUI!!!!!!!!

51 Sarah (from See Sarah Eat) July 9, 2009 at 7:04 am

Thanks for sharing the banana softserve, I’m going to try that! I commented over at Gena’s blog that I’m putting my bananas in the freezer tonight :)

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