It’s a…Duck!

by Jenn (eating bender) on November 14, 2009

First of all, huge congrats to my Aunt Jenny and Uncle David — IT’S A BOY!! The name is still to be determined (they are having trouble deciding on one they both like best, haha) but I could not be happier to have a new boy cousin. I can’t wait to pay a visit to count 10 little fingers and 10 little toes :mrgreen: Fun fact: there are only FIVE girl cousins out of 20 in the entire “Bender” clan. We are the minority.

It has been a really fun and productive Saturday. I’ve been working on our wedding website — email me if you want to see the link, it’s quite fun!! — and tonight I’m attending a work event with Bobby at a great Chicago hot spot that I’ve always wanted to check out. It should be a nice time.

Another highlight of my day was breakfast. I met up with a good friend who reads the blog (and has blogged herself in the past!) named Kristie as she stopped through town for the day. She was actually the winner of the trivia contest during my Blogiversary Giveaway. It was so great to finally meet her in person after chatting back and forth via email for so long.


We originally were going to meet up at an intriguing new cafe but realized that it was actually part of a fitness center and wasn’t open for breakfast yet :( Instead, we wandered around for a while in the crisp fall air — it’s absolutely gorgeous in Chicago right now — and settled upon a market called Fox & Obel. I had passed by it before and it looked like it could be interesting. The foodie in me couldn’t resist suggesting we try it and, once inside, we realized there was also a cafe and decided breakfast was served.

Both Kristie and I decided to order the steel-cut oatmeal.


Doesn’t the sun make it look heavenly? This wasn’t just your average bowl of oats. It was topped with freshly sliced bananas, golden plump raisins and maple cream. I had never heard of maple cream before but it’s exactly what it sounds like: a creamier version of maple syrup that adds an entire new flavor dimension to the bowl. Click on that link above to see one way to make it!


Oatmeal never tasted so good. Between easy conversation — Kristie and I are a lot alike and coming up with topics to talk about was a breeze — and savoring each and every bite, breakfast felt more relaxing than it has in a very long time. The golden raisins lived up to their “plump” description — they were bursting with sugary sweetness that complemented the maple perfectly. The market also didn’t skimp on the banana slices: I had at least one in almost every bite right down to the very bottom of the bowl.

As if good food and good moods weren’t enough, Kristie then presented me with the ultimate gift:


GLO BARS!!!!!!!!! Kristie had placed an order with Angela recently and had a few to spare. I feel so, so fortunate for this gift. I can’t wait to try Angela’s creations — by the way, we were totally talking you up girly. We think what you are doing is amazing and so admire your courage to change careers.

After we finished our bowls, Kristie and I walked around the market, which was filled with unique and hard to find products. We both picked out a nice bottle of wine and a very special peanut butter, which I will be unveiling soon 😉 Let’s just say, I finally found it! Any guesses?

I’ve been snacking on a variety of hummus, veggies and pita for the rest of the day.


This is just the generic red pepper hummus from Whole Foods. A gigantic container for about the same price as a small Sabra container — and it tastes great. You can’t go wrong with fresh cucumber and WF mini pitas, either 😉 A fantastic, easy snack option.


The big feast will come at the work event tonight. Not sure if I’ll be able to take pictures but I’m going to try because I’m sure it will be fun to look at :)

Fun link: Minn. city’s get healthy effort called a success

As a Minnesotan at heart, I appreciate the efforts the town in the article went to in order to live better.

How are you “living better” this weekend?

I’m making it a priority to catch up with family and friends I have lost touch with due to my busy schedule these past few weeks. I need to know what’s going on in their lives. Yours, too!! :)



{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephanie P November 14, 2009 at 5:07 pm

hey…i just started working at that fitness center! the cafe opened last week and the menu looks awesome! i havent yet tried it either but i have high hopes!


2 Jenn (eating bender) November 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm

What a coincidence! Please let me know what you think of it :)


3 Mellissa November 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm

I am spending a low key relaxing day with my husband, something we never do! We were supposed to be out of town this weekend and decided to stay home and be lazy. I am loving it!


4 VeggieGirl November 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Congratulations to your aunt and uncle!!

Glad that you and Kristie had a nice meet-up!

I’m “living better” by granting more “me time.”


5 sweetandnatural November 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Congrats to your aunt and uncle! I would love to see your wedding website! I <3 weddings. :-)


6 Karla November 14, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Congratulations to your aunt and uncle!! So exciting :)

That meet-up sounds really fun. Glad you found a good place to enjoy!

I’ve been following that story about making Minnesota residents healthier, it’s an interesting intervention! We talk about all kinds of studies like this in my current community and public health class. It’s so cool to hear what works for smaller communities and try to brainstorm how they may work well in larger areas!

This weekend, I’m going to try a new 45 minute plyometric workout. Crossing my fingers that it won’t wipe me out for days 😉

Have a great time at your work event tonight!

(By the way, I’d LOVE to see your wedding site if you’d be willing to share!)


7 MarathonVal November 14, 2009 at 5:45 pm

I love Fox and Obel…. *sigh*… if only it was cheaper!!

Congrats to your aunt and uncle :) and have a great weekend!


8 Kristie Lynn November 14, 2009 at 5:51 pm

You are too sweet!

The first thing I told Chris when I got home was “I finally found it!” (referring to what you’ll reveal later, hehe). Somehow he didn’t know exactly what I was talking about 😉 I’m excited to see how you’ll use it first!


9 Jenny November 14, 2009 at 5:58 pm

those are some serious oats! Good breakfast, good company, what more can a girl ask for?!


10 Susan November 14, 2009 at 6:01 pm

That oatmeal looks diviiiiine! I don’t use real maple syrup enough, it makes anything immediately taste 10x better.

Can’t wait to hear what you think of the Glo Bars! I want to order some sooooo bad, but I just can’t justify it financially at the moment.


11 Katie November 14, 2009 at 6:26 pm

AWW Congrats! Can’t wait to hear a name.

Wow that is really tasty looking especially since it’s from a restaurant!

I totally did that today caught up with old friends. I realized we don’t have as much in common as we used, but it was fun to see them all the same.


12 Brandi November 14, 2009 at 6:45 pm

congrats to the family!!!

and what a great weekend 😛

maple cream? oh man. I need to find that.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!


13 Anne November 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Aww, congrats to them! That’s wonderful :) Those oats look so good, too–maple cream sounds amazing!


14 Erica November 14, 2009 at 7:29 pm

aw! New babys are always so exciting! Fun meet up- the oats look super tasty. I would love to see your wedding website!


15 Tay November 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Mmmm maple cream sounds right up my alley. Sooo jealous of your GLO bars!!


16 Brittany November 14, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Congrats on the new baby cousin!!

The oats from Fox and Obel look amazing. I’m glad you found the pb you were looking for- I don’t have any good guesses as to what type it is but I’m interested to find out.

See you 5 days… ahh!!! :)


17 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) November 14, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I’m guessing you found PB and Co Honey peanut butter :-). Congrats to your aunt and uncle on the baby, I am sure you are excited to met him!


18 kbwood November 14, 2009 at 9:09 pm

aww that is so exciting about the baby!! and that oatmeal DOES look heavenly


19 Jen (Running With Cake) November 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm

I was in Chicago today too! Did you see me among the millions of other people? 😉 Scott and I took the train into the city and ended up at Macy’s to check out its holiday display. Like you said, it was absolutely gorgeous today in Chi-town!


20 Erin November 14, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Please send me the link Jenn!


21 BroccoliHut November 14, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Haha, my family is the opposite–we are always overrun with GIRLS! Congrats to your aunt and uncle:)
Those steel cut oats look amazing, and I am intrigued by this maple cream of which you speak…
Can’t wait to hear what you think of the Glo bars–I’ve never tried them!


22 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) November 15, 2009 at 12:03 am

Congrats to the new parents!
Awesome you got to meet up w/another blogger; i have one planned tomorrow!
And maple cream? Oh god that would be sooo good. I am dairy free & vegan and I bet I could do it with almond milk or even coconut butter, but candy-making is such an uber precise thing. 230F is different than 232F. Candy making makes me nervous b/c in literally a nanosecond you can ruin $20 worth of ingredients and hours of time. Sigh. LMK if you make that recipe and how easy or hard it was…


23 Jessica @ How Sweet November 15, 2009 at 6:50 am

COngrats on the baby! I bet they are super excited. :)


24 Abby November 15, 2009 at 10:01 am

Congrats to the new parents!!

OMG that oatmeal looks amazing! :) AND a hummus plate.. yup, right up my alley :)


25 oatmeal November 15, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Congrats to your aunt and uncle!

And yummm what a creamy bowl of oats! Still haven’t given steel cut oats a try because they never go on sale XD
[also–maple cream? What? How did I miss the existence of such a wonderful sounding substance?]


26 Melissa (Melissa Likes To Eat) November 15, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Congrats on the new cousin!!! How fun!!!! Maple cream sounds amazing!!


27 Nicci@NiftyEats November 15, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Cucumbers really do make a quick yummy snack.


28 Sally November 15, 2009 at 9:08 pm

That bowl of oats looks like it is bathed in heavenly light!

The mini pitas are so cute.



29 Heather November 16, 2009 at 1:18 am

Congrats to the new parents! I always love your blog because it makes me want to try new places in the city! And, yesterday was such beautiful weather… what happened today?! I guess it’s finally November in Chicago…


30 Jessica (jesslikesithot) November 16, 2009 at 10:38 am

Aw what a fun day! I love enjoying a delicious breakfast with good company! Its a nice change-up from the usual rushed breakfast, in front of the computer screen before class (i know, so bad hahaa) !

And you are so right Jenn-you CANNOT go wrong with hummus, veggies & pita!
Enjoy the globars!! I’ve been dying to try them! xoxo


31 Shannon November 16, 2009 at 10:52 am

congrats for the new addition!! my mom and dad both have 3 sisters… there’s a shortage of males to carry on the grande name 😉


32 Chrysta November 16, 2009 at 11:01 am

Well living better weekend is pretty much an on going goal. Im in Project “Me” mode right now. Im making sure to get adequate rest, reducing my stress as much as I can, hitting the gym and eating all whole foods. I feel amazing! That oatmeal looked so good too! Thanks for the link on how to make maple cream..I was really interested in that.


33 Alisa - Frugal Foodie November 16, 2009 at 11:03 am

Oh wow, steel cut oats from a restaurant! They do look yummy.

This weekend, lots of long walks to enjoy the crisp air and late fall sunshine :)

Off to do a workout now!


34 glidingcalm November 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm

ooooooo what a fun meet up! and oatssssssssssssssssssss! nummy!! so jealz of your Glo bars too! how fun!!!

Congrats to your Aunt and Uncle!!! how exciting!!!!!!!

have an amazing week Bendddddddddddddah!



35 Stacy (Eating To Live Love Laugh Tri) November 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I miss cucumbers! They just aren’t very good in Virginia this time of year. I wish summer time would come back!


36 Sweet and Fit November 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I wish there were places around me where I could order steel-cut oats like those! fresh sliced bananas and maple cream?!?! yum!


37 Heather Eats Almond Butter November 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Oh my…maple cream? Jenn, that looks like the creamiest bowl of steel cut oats I have ever seen. Yum!!!! What a fun breakfast date and gorgeous pictures.

Hummus – have you tried Trader Joe’s Creamy and Smooth hummus? Not sure if I’ll ever buy Sabra again!

Peanut butter…Mighty Maple?


38 on the rocks November 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm

my weekend was relaxing and productive. gym both days, and when we ate out I kept the meals healthy (which can be hard!)


39 Light Delight with Tou Tou November 16, 2009 at 8:50 pm

awesome cafe , they serve steel-cut oatmeal!!! such a wonderful and warm start of the day!


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