Fly By Weekend…Wait, it’s Wednesday?

by Jenn (eating bender) on September 2, 2009

As usual, the weekend went by super fast and here we are at Wednesday already. Where does time go?! It has been quite a busy week, so thank you in advance for understanding.

I had a blast with Miss Honey Nut Lo on Friday. We met up for dinner after work at Karyn’s Cooked, a vegan restaurant I went to with VeggieGirl last year (and another foodie friend!).

When we first got there, we found a cute little table tucked into the back corner and got to work checking out the menu. The ambiance was friendly and warm – perfect for a foodie get together!


After perusing the menu, Lo and I decided to start by splitting the Hummus & Pita, which was described as “creamy Mediterranean chickpea dip served with raw veggies and whole-wheat pita wedges.”


It was FANTASTIC. The pita wedges were brushed with oil, which provided an extra flavor boost. The hummus itself was perfect consistency – not too creamy, but not too flaky, either. It even rivaled Sabra – I’m just sayin’ :) That’s really hard to do!

I also decided that a drink was in order, since there were so many delicious options to choose from. I ended up going the smoothie route: blueberry and carob. Holy. Yum. The contrast of the sweet blueberries and rich carob is pretty hard to beat. I will definitely be trying this one at home!


For my entree, I decided to stick with what I had gotten the last time I was here, since I knew it was good: a bowl of vegan chili served with a big ol’ slice of vegan cornbread.


Of course, the cornbread was my favorite part :) It definitely tastes a bit different than the cornbread I’m used to having (aka from a box…), but I liked it overall. It complemented the chili very well.


Although we were feeling quite stuffed at this point, Lo and I decided that we were not leaving without splitting a dessert. After going back and forth with each other and with our waiter, we eventually decided to try the blueberry “cheesecake,” which wasn’t actually cheese but rather some type of blueberry puree (perhaps some nuts in there as well?) and a delicious gluten-free crust. I apologize in advance for this terribly blurry picture – I couldn’t get it to turn out! The blueberry compote drizzle on top was definitely the best part. I’d love to get the recipe and drizzle it over oatmeal or ice cream :)


We had a really fun time talking about the new and exciting things going on in both of our lives, as well as blogging and general girl stuff. I hope we have a chance to meet up again soon. We snapped a picture before we left to make it official – Lo is on the left and I’m on the right, if you didn’t already know.


I can’t believe that was already 5 days ago.

When I got home, I was greeted with a super sweet bouquet of congratulatory flowers from Bobby :)


The vase is actually a reusable mug! Does the guy know me well or what? It made my day!

Also this weekend, Bobby and I got to work on framing and hanging three posters around our kitchen. I had gotten these for free last winter when I worked at a publishing agency, and knew they would be perfect decoration at some point. What do you think?


Last but not least, I wanted to share the meal that we made on Sunday night. We decided to go the burger + fries route, and it did not disappoint. There were two types of fries involved: sweet potato and white. I covered each with a mixture of olive oil, onion powder, pepper and Emeril’s seasoning (from Foodbuzz). I put them in the oven at 425* for 15 minutes, then flipped them and put them back in for another 15. They came out perfectly crispy and delicious.


Bobby got to work on the turkey burgers. When I turned around to take a picture, he said he didn’t use exact measurements, but he did make a cool design with the ingredients πŸ˜‰ Judging by the picture, I’d say he used roughly 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 2 eggs (not pictured) and a “star design” amount of ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire with 2 packets of lean ground turkey.


He then mixed it all together by hand and split them up into HUMONGOUS patties. We added them to a skillet with a little olive oil and put them on medium-high heat.


At the same time, we also had a skillet of mushrooms + onions, seasoned with the same combination as the potato fries and doused with a few tablespoons of 312 beer for some extra flavor :)


Everything turned out delicious! I had the rest of the 312 beer with my dinner (and pretty flowers).


I was really impressed with the way the burgers turned out. I had mine on an Arnold Sandwich Thin and topped it with more ketchup + mustard. The mushrooms and onions turned out perfectly tender.


But the highlight of the meal was the fries! The seasoning had a slight kick to it and because they were made at home, they didn’t have a greasy, “fried” feel to them. Definitely will make these again!


I love cooking at home :)

I’ve still got a little bit of fixing up to do with the notes I took from my interview with a Food Network host, so I will have that up either tonight or tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I’ve loved the guessing game, so I will give you a clue: SHE really knows her CHOW.

Any guesses?

Have a great hump day, everyone!



1 gina (fitnessista) September 2, 2009 at 6:37 am

hey lovely πŸ˜€
what a fun meet-up! i haven’t had real cornbread in wayyy too long and i LOVE that they serve whole wheat pita with the hummus instead of white.. that almost never happens!
dinner with bobby looks glorious- sweet potato fries make the world go round πŸ˜‰
congrats again on your new job! so happy for you friend
have a great day!

2 Whit September 2, 2009 at 7:16 am

Oh fun bloggy meet up!

I love the dinner, btw. Looks so yum, and all the designs are too cute!

3 VeggieGirl September 2, 2009 at 7:20 am

Aww yay!! So glad that you and dear Lora met up; and I love that you ordered the same thing, since you already knew you liked it, haha πŸ˜€ Love the carob/blueberry smoothie choice too!

4 nutritionbyeve September 2, 2009 at 7:23 am

Both dinners look delicious! I love cornbread and need to make it more often. I do a combo of white & sweet potato fries a lot of the time – and I like adding cinnamon, cayenne & chili powder, awesome combo!!

5 Tracey September 2, 2009 at 7:24 am

That dinner look great and I love the posters!
Since we have to guess, I’d say your Ciao-loving interviewee is Giada.

6 Lindsey (Mrs. LC) September 2, 2009 at 7:26 am

Karyn’s Cooked looks amazing! If I ever get up to Chicago I put in a request to meet up there. πŸ˜‰

Can’t wait to see which Food Network Host you interviewed! I must be lame cuz that clue is lost on me, haha! I’ll probably have an “ah-ha!” moment when you reveal the interview. :)

7 Jenn (eating bender) September 3, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Lindsey ~ You got it! Now when are you coming to Chicago πŸ˜‰

8 Lizzy September 2, 2009 at 7:26 am

blurry dessert picture or not, that looks amazing! glad you girlies had fun! :)

9 Rose September 2, 2009 at 7:27 am

Looks like a great time out with Lo!

10 Lo September 2, 2009 at 7:28 am

omg we look adorable..not at all like we have lil vegan babies in our bellies πŸ˜‰ I cant wait to get back from home so we can hit up the LP whole foods together and maybs another awesome place nearby for vegan food called “The Chicago Diner”….and I believe you interviewed Alton Brown? I hope so he is kinda my favorite!


11 balancejoyanddelicias September 2, 2009 at 7:29 am

I went to that place recommended by LIz and had great time too! :)

12 Erica September 2, 2009 at 7:38 am

You always have so many exciting things going on! Karyn’s looks awesome- love that hummus platter and the corn bread (YUM!) Very sweet of Bobby to get you flowers. I see a coffee cocoa in that mug in the future πŸ˜‰ The pictures are great! Have a good day chica. We’re almost to Friday πŸ˜‰

13 Mara @ What's For Dinner? September 2, 2009 at 7:43 am

How fun!!! i wish i could’ve made it to the meet up, it was just a crazy weekend! We’ll have to go back and SOON!!! Love you darlin!

14 brandi September 2, 2009 at 7:50 am

aw, what a fun night! That smoothie sounds delicious!

I love the chef pictures :) i can’t wait to see your interview!!!

15 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 2, 2009 at 7:52 am

What awesome eats…the sweet potato fries but of course, the GF blueberry compote looks divine!!!! I am GF and usually crusts and such are easy to butcher but that one looks like it totally rocked!

16 The Foodie Diaries September 2, 2009 at 8:00 am

This Food Network guessing game has me lost.. Giada?? I guess you would have said CIAO instead of CHOW if that were the case haha


17 Kristie Lynn September 2, 2009 at 8:09 am

Oh that mug-vase is adorable! And I’m loving the home-cooked meal that you two made — the power of team engagement πŸ˜‰

18 Lindsay @ bananaandchocolate September 2, 2009 at 8:14 am

Those posters are really cute! Pretty flowers! Your turkey burgers and fries look really good!

19 Gina September 2, 2009 at 8:14 am

Hmmm, I’m interested…I have no idea! I’m not good with Food Network stars, other than Bobby Flea and Guy Fietti.
Your dinner creation looks amazing, especially paired with the 312 beer (great choice).
The closeup picture of cornbread is so tantalizing! Cornbread is one of the foods that makes fall and winter so great. That, and chili!!!

20 Marisa (Trim The Fat) September 2, 2009 at 8:17 am

What great meals, both out and at home!

Bobby’s a keeper =)
Love the kitchen prints!

Sooo excited for your interview!

21 Shannon (The Daily Balance) September 2, 2009 at 8:29 am

I love the you guys mixed ketchup and mustard into the ground turkey – GENIUS!

22 Shannon September 2, 2009 at 8:36 am

a blueberry-carob smoothie??? wow, that sounds good. as does that cheesecake :) fun meetup! Dinner w/bobby also looks a-mazing! fun prints, too :)

23 megzzwinsatlife September 2, 2009 at 9:10 am

EVERYTHING looks soo yummy!! What a fun meet up!!

24 Diana (Soap & Chocolate) September 2, 2009 at 9:20 am

I’m so behind–CONGRATULATIONS on the job! Holy moly you are livin well these days, eh? It can’t be too bad when you have a job, a Bobby and a good meal (or three). :) Hugs!

25 Jenn (eating bender) September 3, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Diana ~ Haha, and when am I NOT behind? No worries! Thank you for the congratulations, I really appreciate it :) Hugs to you!

26 buffmuffy September 2, 2009 at 9:25 am

gosh that dessert sounds amazing! yummmmmm.

27 Sara September 2, 2009 at 9:32 am

What a fun blogger dinner with Lo! Your dinner looks delish. I love, love, love homemade sweet potato fries. Yum!

28 ksgoodeats September 2, 2009 at 9:39 am

This requires a list:
1. That entire meal looks absolutely incredible! I’m dragging the Madre to that restaurant when we come to Chicago (tentatively in November for her birthday. We’re waiting to hear back from my cousins to make sure the date is okay).
2. LOVE the framed pictures!
3. Those sweet potato fries look delicious! I’m jonesin’ for a spud now πŸ˜‰

29 Jenn (eating bender) September 3, 2009 at 9:41 pm

K ~ Woohoo! I can’t wait until November!!!!!!

30 Robyn September 2, 2009 at 9:41 am

Hey Jenn – just found your blog and LOVE the pictures you capture. I look forward to more of your food journeys. Cheers

31 Jenn (eating bender) September 3, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Robyn ~ Thank you! It’s nice to “meet” you :)

32 Kristie September 2, 2009 at 9:50 am

Love the dinner (the food all looks increeeedible) but love the kitchen pics even MORE. They are SO cute! I would totally deck out my kitchen with pictures like that if I had them. And if I had my own kitchen… haha.

Definitely loving the Sunday night meal too. You can never go wrong with sweet potato fries, especially homemade :)

33 Jenny September 2, 2009 at 10:01 am

i would’ve paid good money to have the pleasure of hitting up that restaurant with you and Lo-bear.. jeal x’s 5!

ah it’s a she.. hmmmmm.. this was a tough hint – all those ladies love how to chow. if it’s paula deen though i WILL die.

34 vampiregran September 2, 2009 at 10:41 am

Great pictures and narration. The hummus looked on the dry side to me, but that’s only my opinion. I think it’s a little funny that you came home and had meat after all that yummy veggie food, but to each her own. Great blog all around. cheers!

35 Pearl September 2, 2009 at 10:43 am

1) posters are adorable
2) food looks yumm-o
3) girls are beautiful.

36 farooqk September 2, 2009 at 10:49 am

that turkey burger’s making my mouth water πŸ˜€

37 Megan September 2, 2009 at 11:07 am

Hmm…..Is is Ina Garten? I guess I am just wishing it was her because I really like her show. Lol. Btw Sounds like you gals had a really great time! :)

38 karlawalsh September 2, 2009 at 11:24 am

That looks so fun and so delicious! I might have to make my Mom and sister go to Karyn’s with me…

What a great fiance–the mug/flowers can’t NOT brighten your day πŸ˜‰

And the homemade meal looks awesome too! There is an awesome seasoning mix/recipe in a recent FITNESS that I’ve been using with baked sweet potato fries and I am obsessed. Really good and really easy!

39 Jenn (eating bender) September 3, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Karla ~ Thanks for that recipe link! I am definitely going to you use that next time!

40 jenngirl September 2, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Wow you always have the best blogger meet ups!

Bobby’s flowers are gorgeous, how sweet!! And y’all’s dinner looks fantastic, can you believe I’ve NEVER tried turkey burgers!? I need to fix that ASAP.

I have no guess for the FN host, which is strange, because it’s my favorite channel nowadays!

41 Nikole Hahn September 2, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Is that balsalmic vinegar striped over the cornbread? Hummus is fantastic. I buy it all the time. I’m not a vegetarian, but I eat pretty healthy. I’m a person who loves dips. Instead, I use hummus, belgian endive, and other odds n ends so I can think I am eating unhealthy snacks, but am eating healthy and getting the extra bit of protien I need for my condition.

42 Jenn (eating bender) September 3, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Nikole ~ I’m actually not sure – but it definitely had a different taste and, now that you mention it, balsamic vinegar may be exactly what it was. Good call :)

43 Sassy Molassy September 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm

This dinner looks amazing! I love making sweet potato fries!

44 lowandbhold September 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Hummus that rivals Sabra?! Wow! Sounds like a fun meet-up. Can’t wait to read the interview!

45 Alison September 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Looks like a great restaurant! I love the hummus. And that chili looks great. I think vegan/veggie chili tastes even better than with meat. Well, perhaps good in a different way.

46 Kristen @ Simply Savor September 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm

looks like such a fun blog meet up with lots of great food–that smoothie looks out of this world! i love the kitchen pictures, they make it look very homey and chic :) excited for the interview coming up (is it the woman from next food network star?) have a great day!

47 glidingcalm September 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm

ooooo Karyn’s cooked! nice!!! So awesome that you had a dinner date with Lo! Kinda jealz.

LOVE THE APT. love the turkey burger action.

and loveeeeeeeeeeeee the flowers from Bobby Boy! what a sweeeeeetie!!!

48 Melissa September 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm

I am definitely up for trying these fries. They will be the perfect treat once the chill of fall sets in! Can’t wait!

49 eatingbirdfood September 2, 2009 at 6:58 pm

The meet up at Karyn’s looked divine. It’s hard to find a hummus that rivals Sabra so I’m sure Karyn’s was awesome. AND the smoothie sounds fabulous- I’ve made a similar one when I had some sweetened cacao nibs on hand. I love the texture it gives the smooth smoothie. Yum- I think I need some more cacao nibs now!

The Bobster (is it cool that I call him that?) is way too sweet with the congrats flowers. Flowers just make a girls day, right?

I don’t know who to guess given your clue about the interview, but I’m going to take a shot in the dark and pick Aida from Ask Aida. No matter who it is I’m pumped because I pretty much love all the Food Networkers.

50 Jenn (eating bender) September 3, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Brittany ~ Totally cool if you call him that – in fact, I prefer it πŸ˜‰ And good call on the interview pick!!

51 broccolihut September 2, 2009 at 9:46 pm

I want to devour everything in this post! I loved the flavor of blueberry carob pancakes that I made a while back, so I bet I would love that smoothie. Who me? Like a smoothie? Impossible!
Next time I’m in Chi Town we should hit up Karyn’s!

52 Jenn (eating bender) September 3, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Caroline ~ It’s a date!

53 Marianne September 2, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Two great looking meals, for sure. I especially like the oven fries – always a great alternative at home.

54 Shelby September 3, 2009 at 4:47 am

Aw, I wish I could have met up with you two! I love Karyn’s cooked!

55 Allison September 3, 2009 at 6:42 am

How fun! That restaurant looks fabulous – I’m jealous of all the fabulous bloggers you have eaten there with! :)

56 Sarah September 3, 2009 at 6:56 am

that restaurant looks delicious and super healthy too! and those fries, ive been dreaming about… yum.

57 Rosey Rebecca September 3, 2009 at 7:02 am

LOVE the pictures in the kitchen! And yum! Turkey Burgers!

58 Rebeca September 3, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Me encanta sus “abrazos”

Your burgers remind me of Five Guys for some reason- with the veggies cooked up on the side- I think I might have to convince the boy we need to do this too :)

59 Jenn (eating bender) September 3, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Rebeca ~ Gracias :)

60 Amari September 4, 2009 at 7:32 am

Love this post! I have been meaning to go to Karyn’s cooked for the longest time but have not gotten around to it! You have definetly given me a reason to bump it up on my priority list! I should get out there before the Chicago cold weather kicks in and I never want to leave my apartment!

61 Gena September 4, 2009 at 1:36 pm

What yummy looking fries! I ate at Karyn’s in Chicago and really enjoyed it :)

62 Alisa - Frugal Foodie September 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I was just catching up on your posts when I spotted that smoothie! I was just thinking this morning, “I wonder how blueberries and carob would be together in a smoothie?” You just cinched the deal for my afternoon beverage!

I had never heard of Karyn’s, I will add it to Go Dairy Free for sure. Thanks!

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