The Big Reveal

by Jenn (eating bender) on July 30, 2009

**Since I didn’t post yesterday, I’d like to wish a happy belated birthday to Mara!!**

Good morning, sunshines!

(I say that desperately as I look out my window and see nothing but grey…)

Hard to believe it’s Thursday already! I’m looking forward to the weekend because my family is coming into town, and we are headed north for the “Bender” family reunion :) Papa Bender is the oldest of ten kids, so you can imagine that it is quite the crowd! It will be Bobby’s first time meeting the entire clan, so that should be interesting, too (and hilarious).

Last night, I did Level 1 ofย  Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred. I walk to work every day, which is a really great workout, but the 20-minute shred workout at night is the perfect amount of time for strength training. I also made one of my favorite quick + easy dinners.


I scrambled up 2 eggs + 1 egg white with 1/2 cup spinach until the spinach was cooked and wilted (the right side of the plate). I topped the eggs with 1 oz. goat cheese and a big spoonful of salsa. On the left side of the plate, I added more spinach topped with salsa. It always surprises me how much this fills me up since it only takes about 5 minutes to make.


Question: When you’ve had a long, busy day, how do you find the motivation to cook something?

I want to make stir-fry after work tonight, but it seems that almost every time I come home, I have no desire to do anything besides sit on the couch :) Any tips would be appreciated – I’m at a loss.

Oh, and if you have any good stir-fry recipes, please send them my way!!

Currently, I’m eating a bowl of Kashi Go Lean, Nature’s Path Puffs and unsweetened vanilla almond milk for breakfast while blogging (BWB). Bowl courtesy of Karen!



Many of you requested to see a picture of my new kitchen. I am happy to oblige :) We really lucked out because we found a brand new place at a reasonable rate. Welcome to our home…


Sorry, I know it’s a bit blurry (it was taken at 5:00 am and the sunshine was scarce!) and there are some random bowls, blenders and other gadgets on the counters. But I couldn’t be happier about the setup and I am looking forward to making some great recipes on that stove! By the way, can you spot the spoon on the floor? Clearly someone was in a rush this morning…

I hope you all have something fabulous planned today. Enjoy it!


{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nutritionbyeve July 30, 2009 at 6:53 am

Beautiful kitchen! I can’t wait till we have a bigger apartment with more counter space, Manhattan is limited :)


2 Erica July 30, 2009 at 6:55 am

ah! Your kitchen looks totally beautiful. I love it. Great dinner last night- I think I can put salsa on almost anything these days ๐Ÿ˜‰ Motivation to cook…hmmm I think about how good the outcome will be. Plus I actually find cooking to be pretty relaxing/rewarding so that sort of motivates me :) Hope you have a nice day


3 lookingforserenity July 30, 2009 at 6:56 am

your kitchen is soo nice! normally when i’ve had a long day and I dont feel like cooking, I just microwave rice and veggies. haha


4 Shannon (The Daily Balance) July 30, 2009 at 7:02 am

OMG! Your kitchen is GORGEOUS! I am so so so so SO incredibly jealous! Can’t wait to see all the stuff you whip up in there! ๐Ÿ˜‰


5 Tracey July 30, 2009 at 7:07 am

Fabulous kitchen – just beautiful! Wish you all the best!


6 ttfn300 July 30, 2009 at 7:12 am

omg that kitchen is awesome!!! you’ll have so much fun there :) have a great time at the reunion!


7 CaSaundra July 30, 2009 at 7:24 am

I tend to make a big batch of something (like stir-fry) at the beginning of the week, or any day, and then you can just heat it up and add in little extras every day to switch it up a bit–that way you can sit on the couch ASAP with no meal to make, but still good food to eat!
Btw–I loooove your kitchen; so modern looking!


8 nic July 30, 2009 at 7:31 am

Your kitchen is really beautiful!! I totally envy you!!
And for your question! When I get home and have no desire to cook someting for myself I ususally just take my Laptop with me! ;D Time flyes when I prepare my veggis and whatnot and I always am happy that I had something warm afterwards! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope this helps a little…


9 Suzanne July 30, 2009 at 7:50 am

That kitchen is gorgeous! Mine doesn’t even compare! Congrats!


10 Shelby July 30, 2009 at 8:00 am

Your kitchen is just gorgeous!!!


11 Mara @ What's For Dinner? July 30, 2009 at 8:15 am

Ok I need to see that kitchen in person!! Thanks for the birthday wishes love!! See you soon!


12 Melissa S. July 30, 2009 at 8:19 am

your kitchen is AWESOME!!!

best way to have meals on hand during the week when you’re tired: make em’ on the weekend and freeze em’. i did it all the time when i worked in SD at the marine core…


13 Sara July 30, 2009 at 8:23 am

Great kitchen! Your stove looks very similar to mine.


14 Michelle July 30, 2009 at 8:30 am

That’s a gorgeous kitchen Jenn! I hope you are loving your new place and some big changes in your life! :)


15 elise July 30, 2009 at 8:31 am

holy huge kitchen. im beyond jealous!

i pre-prep dinner as much as possible the day before bc when i get home from work i am usually starving and way too exhausted to cook. since i have days off during the week with my flex schedule, i do mega tuperware-ing on those days. bulk cooking of tofu, quinoa, beans, veggie chopping, etc.


16 VeggieGirl July 30, 2009 at 8:34 am



17 Allison July 30, 2009 at 8:37 am

O.M.G. – i am SOOOOO jealous of your new kitchen! it’s gorgeous! (and this homegirl’s DREAM!) YAY!!!!! :)

I still haven’t graduated to level 2 or 3 of the shred – Jillian scares me! have fun on your trip! if you are stoppin anywhere near CLEVELAND – let me know :)


18 Mary July 30, 2009 at 8:45 am

I just found your blog and love reading it!

I am soooo jealous of your beautiful kitchen. It’s like my dream kitchen!


19 Whit July 30, 2009 at 8:51 am

I love the kitch! So snazzy!


20 eatingbirdfood July 30, 2009 at 8:55 am

Stir-fry is one of my favorite go-to meals. I just cook a little protein (shrimp, black beans or tofu in my case), they don’t take very long and then stir-fry some veggies (frozen stir fry veggies cook within minutes). I add a little soy sauce or garlic sauce, and simply mix the veggies and protein together. Sometimes I cook some brown rice to go along with it, but most of the time I just have the veggies and protein. There might be a recipe on my blog, I can’t remember, but you could check :)

I LOVE your kitchen; you have quite the set-up!


21 MarathonVal July 30, 2009 at 9:02 am

Oh my gosh Jenn, your kitchen is GORGEOUS!!! You should have seen the crappy kitchens I have had in my day lol…… lucky girl!


22 Rose July 30, 2009 at 9:14 am

Your kitchen is incredible! Wow!


23 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) July 30, 2009 at 9:28 am

AMAAAAZING kitchen. You have every New Yorker squirming in her seat. As for stir-fry, I think the quickest method is to have mixed frozen (pre-cut) veggies on hand at all times, as well as a bottled sauce you like. Pre-cooking a big pot of brown rice to have all week is a good idea too! Then you just throw the veggies, oil and sauce in the pan and go! Straight from frozen! Totally works, especially if you can cover the pan to help the veggies thaw quicker. Sometimes I throw the rice in with everything too and scramble in an egg for a yummy fried rice. Less than 10 minutes, I promise!


24 peanutbutterandjenny July 30, 2009 at 9:45 am

woo 10 kids?! poppa bender and fam. definitely should’ve had a reality show.


25 buffmuffy July 30, 2009 at 10:14 am

OMG i am so jealous….


26 verbalriot July 30, 2009 at 10:39 am

That kitchen is adorable! It’s great that you were able to find a new place at a good rate!

And honestly, I’m also really bad in finding motivation to make dinner after a long day. When I know I’m going to have a long day, I try to make sure there are leftovers that I can just heat up waiting for me when I get home.


27 HeatherBakes July 30, 2009 at 10:54 am

I love your kitchen!! It’s so bright and modern!

Ugh, motivation to cook? I try and think ahead so I’ll already have the ingredients on hand… and reading food blogs helps, too :)


28 Meghan July 30, 2009 at 11:03 am

The thing that works best for me is to clean and prep all fruit, veggies and protein on the weekend so I can quickly pull items together for meals during the week. It goes pretty quickly if you do it all at once and helps minimize clean-up since you only have to clean the salad-spinner, knives, cutting board, etc. once. When I fail to prep my food on the weekend I end up wanting to eat out all week! Good luck – I know it is hard to motivate yourself after a long day of work!


29 Rebeca July 30, 2009 at 11:14 am

I’m soooo jealous of your kitchen… gorgeous!

Well, I do a lot of prep work ahead of time…. like for your stir fry. I’d have the meat (?) marinating in a ziplock, and all the veggies chopped and ready to go.

Some nights are harder to get motivated, than others so… I take some time Sunday afternoon/evening and prep a few meals so on uninspired nights they’re ready to go. It helps so much!


30 Bethany July 30, 2009 at 11:16 am

I make a big batch of brown rice on sunday so i can throw some veggies and sauce in there without having to wait for it to cook during the week. It is great with an egg in the morning too.


31 Hangry Pants July 30, 2009 at 11:25 am

Gorgeous kitchen! I am really laughing about the spoon. For quick meals I like rice or another grain in a bowl with veggies and beans. Or cereal. ๐Ÿ˜€


32 Andrea July 30, 2009 at 11:32 am

So jealous! I want an undermount sink in the worst way.


33 Rosey Rebecca July 30, 2009 at 11:49 am

Your kitchen is gorgeous! I stay motivated to cook by thinking of how amazing it will taste when it’s done! :-)


34 Amanda July 30, 2009 at 12:06 pm

What an amazing kitchen!! I hear you on the motivation to cook – I honestly ate omelettes 3 times a week when I first started working, but then I got tired of eggs and had the urge to cook (plus cooking a good meal often means leftovers aka less cooking later on!) My favorite stirfry recipe is from Ellie Krieger’s “The Foods you Crave” cookbook –

Give it a try!!


35 balancejoyanddelicias July 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm

such a beautiful kitchen!!!


36 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) July 30, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Nice kitchen!


37 Ris July 30, 2009 at 1:55 pm

i LOVE eggs and spinach with salsa, so good…. and your kitchen is totally gorgeous!!


38 Penny July 30, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Very pretty kitchen. I’m a little jealous. :-)


39 ksgoodeats July 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm

What a gorgeous kitchen!! I love the style of it – how it’s dark and everything. That’s how I envision my dream kitchen to look :)

Stir fry at my house is just a bunch of sauteed veggies (and meat if you want) topped on brown rice with soy sauce. Nothing special and it can be made super fast with these tips: 1. WFs has an Asian medley frozen veggie mix (just heat that up in the micro) and 2. Uncle Ben’s minute rice takes next to nothing in terms of cooking time. Hope you get your stir fry!!


40 homegirlcaneat July 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm

The kitchen is gorgeous!!!! I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things you can make on the stove and bake in the oven!!! ayayayay!


41 inmytummy July 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm

I’m so jealous. My kitchen is the size of a closet. Seriously, there is not room for more than 2 people in it.


42 Eat Chic July 30, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Whenever I have no motivation to cook after a long day I think of all the produce in my fridge that will go to waste if I don’t make something with it sooner or later. And in the spirit of smart budgeting, I end up cooking something even if I felt too pooped to begin with! Love your site AND your new kitchen!


43 karla522 July 30, 2009 at 8:04 pm

WOWOW! That is SOME kitchen you’ve got Jenn! And I think your workout routine sounds fabulous. I’ve taken to walking to/from work as a great way to sneak in extra activity in a long workday as well :)


44 Kelly Olexa July 30, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Kitchen is BEAUTIFUL! And so are those eggs girl!! You making me HUNGRAY!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (spelled incorrectly on purpose) I have to say, the whole “getting creative in the kitch” at the end of a tough long day; very hard for me. So I usually end up doing something lame and repetitive. Sigh. I need a Manny to do the creativity for me. I’m looking.


45 broccolihut July 30, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Mmm spinach & salsa scrambles used to be one of my favorite combos–I bet it would be tasty in one of my scrambled tofu concoctions too!
You may not like this answer, but one of my best tips for meal preparation is simple: plan ahead. If the meal requires slicing and dicing, do the chopping the night before; if you need to thaw something, set it out then too. I have to do this a lot for breakfast more than for dinner, but I think the same principles would apply.
BTW, I love your cereal bowl–the color red and polka dots are two of my favorite things!


46 WholeBodyLove July 31, 2009 at 12:02 am

I am loving the new kitchen!! Perfect for creating new recipes and re-visting old ones! If I have no motivation, I make something simple…usually a Hugh Jass Salad or Kashi Go Lean with yogurt, almond milk and fruit with pears or apples and AB or PB on the side.


47 MizFit July 31, 2009 at 4:31 am


and loved the stories you shared about your dad and how much he adores you and the fact you cook so much/your blog.


48 MizFit July 31, 2009 at 4:32 am

oops didnt mean to “submit”
have a great time at the reunion.


49 Emily July 31, 2009 at 5:06 am

Love the new kitchen, Jenn. Absolutely beautiful!

Hope you enjoy the time with your family this weekend. :-)


50 Alison July 31, 2009 at 6:04 am

Oh wow…what a beautiful kitchen! And I love your eggs to – that’s my go-to easy meal.


51 gina (fitnessista) July 31, 2009 at 7:53 am

i LOVE your kitchen! so beautiful! haha and the spoon on the floor cracked me up ๐Ÿ˜€
egg scramble is one of my favorite fast meals… so delicious and so easy to put together
hope you have a happy friday!


52 SHE-FIT July 31, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Oh wow! ! ! I love your new kitchen. I looks great. I like the egg dish as well.


53 Nicole July 31, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Now that’s a nice kitchen!!


54 eatavegan July 31, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I ditto everyone — adorable kitchen!!


55 Kath July 31, 2009 at 7:59 pm

GORGEOUS kitchen!!!


56 Marianne July 31, 2009 at 9:38 pm

I’m an evening person, so I think that helps with the whole “cooking after work” thing – that’s when I’m on!

I am highly jealous of your kitchen. Very fancy.


57 Joanna August 1, 2009 at 7:19 am

I’m not sure which I want more…your kitchen or some of that egg salad!


58 runjess August 1, 2009 at 10:28 am

Stir-fry only takes a few minutes, especially if you have leftover rice. I buy brown rice that takes about 45 minutes to cook, so I make extra and keep it in the fridge. You can use frozen vegetables. I’ve found a few bagged blends of Asian veggies that are great. You can also use a pre-made sauce or just make your own out of soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic.


59 Jessica (jesslikesithot) August 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm

The kitchen is adorable Jenn!! Love the wooden cupboards and marble (?) counter tops! It looks to be the perfect place for the one and only, “lazy chef” to whip up some new meals! ๐Ÿ˜‰


60 Erin August 2, 2009 at 11:57 am

WHOA your kitchen is FABULOUS!
I probs wouldn’t have noticed the spoon but it did give me the giggles ๐Ÿ˜‰


61 Erin August 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Gorgeous Kitchen I love it!


62 Emily August 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Look at that kitchen! WOW! I can’t wait to see the good eats that come out of there…. ๐Ÿ˜€


63 lilveggiepatch August 2, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Mmm, sexy egg shot!

Your new kitchen is GORGEOUS!!!


64 zestycook August 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Bender – I love your kitchen!!


65 Lainie August 2, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Your new kitchen is beautiful!

I’m new to the blog world and I recently discovered your blog; I love it! Is it okay if I add you to my blog roll?


66 Heather Eats Almond Butter August 3, 2009 at 7:12 am

Beautiful kitchen Jenn.

One word for you my friend: crockpot!

In the morning, throw in some meat, cover it with sauce, and turn it on. When you get home, dinner is ready. :)


67 Lara (Thinspired) August 4, 2009 at 1:58 am

How did I miss this post?! Your new kitchen is awesome! Sassy and sophisticated…just like you! :)


68 Melissa August 4, 2009 at 4:25 am

I love it! Can’t wait for the day I have a new kitchen of my own! ๐Ÿ˜€


69 Andee (Runtolive) August 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm

My kitchen looks almost identical to yours! Except mine is like half the size, but it gets the job done right? I love the granite countertops


70 glidingcalm August 5, 2009 at 10:47 am

what a beautiful kitchen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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