Cooks, Cafes and…Domains?

by Jenn (eating bender) on August 10, 2009

Hi everyone! Did you have a good weekend? I can’t believe Monday is here already!

First of all…


Yes, I finally got around to snatching up my own domain and now every time you visit the old site it will send you to this new address automatically. There should (hopefully) be no need to update your Google Reader if you use it – let me know if for some reason that’s not the case!

I appreciate all of the feedback and comments you gave me on the Hungry Girl interview. You are way too kind :) For those of you who thought there were other topics that coulda/shoulda been addressed – I hear ya. Your opinions about her way of eating and recipes really run the gamut. To me, that is just further proof of the fact that everybody and every body is different. There is no one set of rules that everyone needs to follow and no one person has the authority to tell you what to eat and how to eat it. To each their own – I firmly believe in that philosophy and am glad that this interview was able to show how one woman chooses to nourish herself.

We had a lot of fun this weekend, some of which finally included an opportunity to cook in the new kitchen. On Friday night, Bobby and I got home from work and decided to have a low-key night in. We started by opening a bottle of white wine that one of my best friends gave us as an engagement present.


Then I cooked with wine. This time, I didn’t put it in the food 😉 (Horrible joke made of a great quote!)


The menu included one of these four star ingredients:


As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I recently received this package of goodies from Emeril’s. I love spices, so I was pumped. I decided to use his “Original Essence”


I added it to the pan of shrimp for a burst of flavor………..BAM!


The food turned out splendidly: Annie’s Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar topped with Emeril’s spiced shrimp served with corn on the cob, white wine and The Office :mrgreen:


I swear the TV is not actually that blinding! The macaroni + shrimp was a cheesy/spicy flavor fest.


And the corn on the cob tasted just like summer. I topped it with a bit of butter.


We were so pleased with ourselves for finally cooking something from home!

The next day, I was super excited to head up to Evanston (my college town, which I miss dearly) to meet up with three fabulous foodie bloggers for lunch: Caroline (in town visiting), Ashley and Mara!!! We met up at the vegetarian-friendly Blind Faith Café. I couldn’t believe I had never been there before.


The girls and I started talking about all the different menu items. It was very hard to choose! Eventually, Caroline and I decided to be twins and ordered the Barbeque Seitan Sandwich.


This was my second time trying seitan. The last time was with VeggieGirl! I have to say, it went much better this time around. The way it was cooked made it much more appealing, and you can never go wrong with something slathered in BBQ sauce – right, Caroline?

I had a great time talking to the girls. Meeting bloggers is always the best! Here’s a group shot (courtesy of Mara and her camera). From L to R: Mara, me, Caroline and Amanda!


After lunch, Mara said she wanted to go to a shop to look at new nose rings, and I decided to join her. It was great catching up further and we had a blast looking at all the unique stuff in the shop. We walked out and decided that we weren’t feeling quite “fulfilled” yet, and knew the remedy: Red Mango!


Mara was kind enough to treat me (thank you!) to a regular yogurt topped with fresh blueberries. Ah, nothing hit the spot better on an incredibly humid, hot day. I heart you, Mara and Red Mango!

After our blogger meet-up, I headed back downtown (crazy traffic courtesy of Lollapalooza) and ended up meeting my friend from college, who had driven up for the weekend. It was so nice to see her again, even if it did make me a little nostalgic 😉 We ended up going to Thai Spoon and Sushi for pad thai. The last time I went there was for another blogger meet up back in February!

Well, one night at this restaurant wasn’t going to cut it. The prices are too right! I ended up craving sushi last night after reading Mara’s recap post, so I asked Bobby if he would be up for going there again! I started out with a mixed berry bubble tea – I love those tapioca balls!


For dinner, I went with the California and Philly Rolls. They were 1/2 price and cost a grand total of $5.50 for the entire plate. Not bad, considering six pieces from Whole Foods cost almost $8.00!


I am so glad we found this restaurant!

It was a fabulous weekend. I actually went bowling yesterday with Bobby and his new work crew. We had a great time and all of his new buds are really nice! I even bowled 100 – who knew?

What was your favorite part of the weekend?

Have a great start to your week!


{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 VeggieGirl August 10, 2009 at 6:41 am

New domain + fun meet-up + an abundance of Emeril = great weekend for ya! 😀


2 Erica August 10, 2009 at 6:42 am

Congrats on the new domain! How very exciting.

Sounds like you had such a great weekend. First off, YUM! I love adding shrimp to mac n cheese! Glad you and the man had a fabulous night in. That vegetarian-friendly cafe looks great- I love unique places like that. And froyo to finish it all off? Fabulous. I had some this weekend and cannot wait to get back for more.

Hope your Monday treats you well.


3 Jess August 10, 2009 at 6:48 am

It sounds boring but the best part of the weekend was sleeping late yesterday and having the rest of the day free to clean up the house and get laundry done! It was a perfect Sunday for our busy weekend!


4 Gina August 10, 2009 at 6:54 am

Oh yum, the pasta with shrimp looks awesome. I love it how the dish sounds and looks almost gourmet, although it was easy to make and required simple ingredients, that’s my favorite food.

The sushi looks good too, and the froyo! This weekend I had some good eats at a wedding. We had chicken parmesan and then some AWESOME red velvet cake, which was my favorite part of the weekend :)


5 Shannon (The Daily Balance) August 10, 2009 at 7:00 am

congrats on the domain! yay for blogger meet-ups! 😉


6 ttfn300 August 10, 2009 at 7:08 am

i’m glad to see you back after such crazy times :) made me smile to see you in my google reader!! sounds like you had a great weekend!


7 runeatrepeat August 10, 2009 at 7:10 am

My fave part of the weekend was sleeping in on Sunday :)


8 lookingforserenity August 10, 2009 at 7:11 am

looks like you had an awesome weekend!!!! congrats on getting a domain :)


9 MarathonVal August 10, 2009 at 7:13 am

1) I’ve never been to Blind Faith but have heard great things!

2) Speaking of blogger meet-ups, I saw Julie & Julia last week and after the fact it occurred to me that I should have asked if you wanted to see it with me! If you haven’t gone yet I definitely recommend it :)

3) Congrats on the new domain!

4) Never been to that Thai restaurant but I def. will be going – those prices are amazing!


10 balancejoyanddelicias August 10, 2009 at 7:15 am

congrats on getting your own domain!~~~
Such a fun weekend~~
Have a nice week :)


11 ksgoodeats August 10, 2009 at 7:34 am

Congrats on your own domain!! Eating Bender is growing up :)

So many winning combos in this post!
1. Mac & cheese + wine + corn + The Office = Perfection
2. Bloggers + yummy lunch + froyo = Even more perfection!

Way to go with the bowling!! I’m so bad at that. I scored a 34 once!


12 Lara (Thinspired) August 10, 2009 at 7:35 am

I’ve changed my blogroll with the new URL :)
Ahh-the mac & cheese shrimp combo is so delicious! I do that sometimes and just throw in peas, but next time I’ll have to spice up like yours! What a nice little setup there with The Office :) Is it back on now?!


13 Mara @ What's For Dinner? August 10, 2009 at 7:37 am

I had so much fun too!! Jealous of your trip to Thai Spoon again; I always forget about that place!


14 Lizzy August 10, 2009 at 7:39 am

FAB weekend!!!! congrats on the domain name! so exciting! and i NEED to try the mac and cheese. it looks delish everytime i see it around the blogs! yumm


15 Brandi August 10, 2009 at 7:42 am

what a fun weekend! I love the “bam” you threw in there :)

we went to a downtown festival here for food + gifts for family and saw Julie & Julia! fabulous!


16 Danielle August 10, 2009 at 8:31 am

Wow all that food looks so great!
What a fun blogger meet up!


17 Sara August 10, 2009 at 8:43 am

Your homecooked dinner sounds/looks great. Shrimp + Anne’s pasta = yum!


18 eatingmachine August 10, 2009 at 8:51 am

Everything IS better with BBQ sauce-as long as it’s good BBQ sauce.
I thought I didn’t like BBQ sauce for YEARS till I realized I hadn’t had good stuff-when my dad starting making it from scratch I realized I actually LOVED it


19 Anne K. August 10, 2009 at 9:09 am

Congrats on the domain! Your shrimp + mac n’ cheese looks delicious, and yay for blogger meetups! My favorite part of the weekend was finally getting home + dry after running a race in a downpour on Saturday. Ha!


20 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) August 10, 2009 at 9:56 am

Congrats on your own domain!

The macaroni and shrimp dish sounds great!

Yay for a fun blogger meet-up!


21 broccolihut August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am

Congrats on getting your own domain!
Your Friday night sounds so perfect–such a summery meal, served up with a side of The Office:)
I had such a great time meeting you on Saturday! Yes, that BBQ seitan was pretty awesome–I wonder what it would taste like in a humbecue version?


22 buffmuffy August 10, 2009 at 11:40 am

YUM SUSHI! Bubble tea looks good but i still dont know what it is :)


23 verbalriot August 10, 2009 at 11:50 am

Sound like a great weekend, blogger meet ups are always so fun!

And that sushi looks ahhhhmazing!


24 Andee (Runtolive) August 10, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Great weekend eats! I love the mac n cheese idea with shrimp! I used to work at a boba place for 2 years and can’t stand to drink boba milk teas anymore! :(


25 nutritionbyeve August 10, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Great weekend! Sushi is such a yummy meal. I had seitan last week and loved it, I agree it can be hit or miss.


26 BalanceisBeautiful August 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm

congrats on the new domain :)
that mixed berry bubble tea looks interesting! ive never had bubble tea, i may have to try some!
happy monday!


27 Alison August 10, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Your macaroni and shrimp look great! Red mango just came to my hometown. I can’t wait to try it when I go home in November.


28 Dave Fannin August 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm

congrats on the new domain! and the meet up sounds fun!


29 Melissa S. August 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm

ahhh…such a great blogger meet up! i seriously want to meet Mara!

and love the sushi…WF is such a rip off. hahaha.


30 karla522 August 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm

This looks like a blast of a weekend Jenn! I might have to take my family to one of these restaurants (or more) when we come to Chicago in a few weeks :)

LOVE The Office viewing party and the new domain name. Success all around!


31 Rosey Rebecca August 10, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Yay for the domain!! All of the eats look fantastic. I especially love the corn on the cob with the huge pink holders


32 glidingcalm August 10, 2009 at 7:19 pm

your own domain?! was it hard?!!!

what are you using as your host?! tell me more!! i am jealous!!

and im also jealous of your bloggy meet up!!!!!! SO FUN!!!

Your new apt. looks beautiful by the way!


33 Eat Chic August 10, 2009 at 8:00 pm

My friends all rave about the Blind Faith Cafe but I too have never been there! I’m hoping to make a trip over there sometime this semester! Love the bubble tea picture; Joy Yees makes some killer bubble tea that is my absolute favorite! Sounds like a fun weekend!


34 Miz. August 11, 2009 at 4:16 am


Next stop? world domain-ation.
love how you said the corn tasted like summer. Im so NOT a foodie but so many simple foods trigger such p owerful memories for me and c on the c :) is one of them.


35 Alisa - Frugal Foodie August 11, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Congrats on the domain! This post is making me too hungry, I must go to bed!


36 Rebeca August 12, 2009 at 12:57 am

Congrats on your new domain :) So exciting but not as exciting as pasta, sushi, bloggers and fro yo in one post 😉


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