New Kitchen Toy

by Jenn (eating bender) on June 14, 2010

At my wedding shower last weekend, Bobby’s family discovered that I’m both a foodie and obsessed with kitchen gadgets. Some of them found out after I talked about my blog – if you’re reading, hello! – and others realized my obsession after they saw how giddy I became over our new kitchen toys!

This past week, we’ve introduced one of the game changers into our meal planning. Bloggies, please welcome the Calphalon Unison Grill Pan to Eating Bender!

Calphalon Unison Grill Pan

“Thank you, thank you. I’m excited to be here.”

Clearly, I have issues if I’m personifying a grill pan, but at least I embrace them 😉

This pan has made such a delicious difference in no time at all! Living in downtown Chicago doesn’t offer that many opportunities to get your very own “grill marks” on your food, but this pan does just that.

We broke in our new toy with a fishy feast.

{Side note: The above are our new plates, which we received from Bobby’s mom – thanks, Barb! They are the Lenox Vibe collection from Bed, Bath & Beyond. What do you think?}

I have to admit, I was quite proud of the way this particular version of tilapia turned out! I’ve made many varieties in the past, from breaded to nut-crusted and everything in between.

The secret ingredients this time?

Salt and pepper.

I used a bit of olive oil for sticking purposes and threw on some garlic salt and ground pepper. Sounds basic and almost too easy, but I forgot how good simple salt + pepper can be!

We threw the filets into the grill pan and “oohed” and “aahed” as we watched them sizzle and get their fancy char lines. We also cooked up some stir-fry vegetables.

Everything came out very flavorful – and I fell in love with our new pan.

Loving the grill marks! You may think I am overexcited, but I never see those in my kitchen!

Our next time trying out the grill pan was for breakfast on Saturday morning. I was on a mission to recreate the French toast that Sarah and I made back in May.

But this time…

Ta-Da!! :mrgreen:

It was a wonderful breakfast for a weekend morning. Bobby even had seconds, which I know must be a good sign. I won’t turn down any opportunity to use this new toy again!

Coffee Cocoa also made an appearance. It’s been a while since it has been featured on the blog!

I’ve really enjoyed this new pan and can’t wait to make panini sandwiches, grill meats and more. I am so lucky to have such great family and friends, who threw an incredible shower.

Thank you!!

Insanity: Week Two Recap

Missed Week One?

I’m glad many of you are thinking about trying the Insanity workouts! The program continues to impress me as I head into my third week – and I can’t wait to continue tracking my progress with a Fit Test today. Hopefully I will have improved from last time – at least a little bit!

Here are a few more observations from week two:

  • The soreness I had in my calves and back has definitely eased. The workout DVDs were the same from the first week, but in a different order.
  • That said, it’s definitely still tough and I have to take the occasional break here and there. But I’m taking a lot fewer of them and getting out more reps per exercise than I was the first week.
  • I’m still loving the fact that each workout runs 30-45 minutes (although this week we added an ab component to one of the workouts, which took it up to 55-60 one day). I think I am able to motivate myself so much better knowing that it’s such a small portion of my day. It’s important with these workouts to make the time to do them consistently – so far, so good!
  • The one thing I am missing most is working out my arms with weights. I think I remember Gina mentioning that she felt the same way. But I’m going with the flow for right now. These workouts were designed for a reason and they specify that you should use your own body weight. I’m improving with push-ups every day – they have ALWAYS been a struggle for me – so that counts for something, right?
  • I definitely feel a bit firmer in my abs, calves and glutes, which I’m excited about!

We shall see how it continues to progress in the third week!

Would you be interested in seeing a video clip of me in action? I was thinking about showing a short burst so you can visualize yourselves at the mercy of Shaun T, too 😉 Let me know!

Question of the day: What did you do this weekend?


{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kbwood June 14, 2010 at 7:54 am

AHH That kitchen gadget sounds AWEEESOME!
I love hearing about insanity!! thanks for sharing!


2 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:18 am

Behind on the responding to comments, clearly :) Glad you are interested in Insanity!!


3 Jessica @ How Sweet June 14, 2010 at 7:58 am

I loooove love love my grill pan, too! Especially since I am super scared of our regular grill and won’t use it unless the hubby is home…LOL!


4 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:18 am

Grills are intimidating!! I completely agree :)


5 Kristie June 14, 2010 at 8:10 am

Hehe, love the “rise and whine” mug :). Glad you’re enjoying your new kitchen toys… and seriously, those thank-you notes are so cute! Even matching up with your color scheme, eh?


6 Erica June 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

Grill pans totally rock. I’m such a kitchen tool nerd too! I’m going to run out of space VERY soon. Glad you’re enjoying your new tool- the french toast looks perfect. This weekend was seriously amazing- taught, spent time with family, time with Josh & Frank and friends. Ah! And the weather was gorgeously hot and humid :) Love SC


7 Jessie (Bites and Pieces) June 14, 2010 at 9:07 am

I have always wanted a grill pan, but for some reason I have never made the splurge on one. Maybe it is time. :) I would love to see a video of you doing Insanity!


8 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:19 am

Thanks, Jessie! I will have a video up soon, promise!


9 Heather June 14, 2010 at 9:23 am

Love our grill pan! Now you need to get a press so you can make your own paninis!!!!


10 Mama Pea June 14, 2010 at 9:46 am

I love my grill pan! It comes in handy for those times when I have a dinner party planning to grill veggie burgers and dogs and realize that the barbecue is out of propane. Yeah, I’ll be checking that out beforehand next time…


11 Brynne June 14, 2010 at 10:11 am

SO jealous of the grill pan! It looks like so much fun :0)


12 Sarah (cocoanutshakes) June 14, 2010 at 10:27 am

I just finished Insanity week two also!! Totally agree with all of your comments..I’ve been supplementing the workouts with a few upper body exercises (with weights) just to satisfy the craving =).


13 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:20 am

So cool that you are doing the Insanity workout, too! I completely agree with you on the upper body exercises :) How are you enjoying Recovery week?!


14 Katie June 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

That grill pan is awesome! I need one of those in my life.


15 Chocolate Coated Runner June 14, 2010 at 10:52 am

That pan is pretty neat…. I’ll have to get one…. well off to get one now bye 😉


16 *Andrea* June 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

mmm looks great for a summer meal! i LOVE grill marks – especially on my veggies too! and paninis!

i’ve missed coffee cocoa!!! i stopped by a coffee/sandwich shop in my town today and ordered chocolate cappuccino flavored coffee w/a little cream – it reminded me of this! so delicious :)

this weekend i relaxed..saw shutter island which was pretty good too.


17 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:20 am

I love that you ordered a chocolate cappuccino :)


18 Julie @ Pickley Pear June 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I have a grill pan similar to yours, it’s the best thing ever! Good luck with Insanity, I’ve heard it’s insane :)


19 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:21 am

It’s totally insane 😉 Love the grill pan!


20 John June 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Nice pan! I ran 17 miles yesterday. Committing to run a marathon now 😮


21 BroccoliHut June 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Ooh! I covet your grill pan! I know what I’m registering for if I ever get married…


22 Bobbi June 14, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Video! Yes please! I am doing P9OX right now and I have core synergistics tomorrow!!!!! Would love to do this video!


23 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:22 am

So cool that you’re doing P90X right now! Hope you are LOVING it!


24 Mom June 15, 2010 at 12:19 am

I can just hear you ““oohing” and “aahing” :)


25 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:24 am

You’re silly :)


26 Becca June 15, 2010 at 1:36 am

I was so amused to see that someone else feels the same way about grill marks! My fiancé has been cooking his supper on the barbecue for the past week, until the rain returned (the joys of living in England!) and so he whipped out our teal Le Creuset (Christmas gift from the best Mummy in the world) to create the same effect.

Definitely going to check out this Insanity workout!


27 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:23 am

Oooh Le Creuset! Definitely the best present in the world :) I am happy to see you feel the same about grill marks, too!


28 Nathan June 15, 2010 at 5:49 am

Glad to hear that you love Insanity as much as I do. Hope your fit test went well!


29 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:23 am

Thanks, Nathan!!


30 Priyanka June 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

Since I don’t have an outdoor grill, my indoor GF works for me, but honestly I want a grill pan. Love the grill marks on the fish. I would totally like to see the video.


31 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:22 am

I will definitely get the video up soon!! :)


32 Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover June 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Holy YUM!
I´m so jealous – this pan looks MAGIC!
Wish you a great week, girl!
Brazilian XOXO´s,


33 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) June 15, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Love the grill pan! I love grill marks on food! It makes it look so fancy and extra appetizing!

Glad your workouts are going well!

P.S. If you or any of your readers are interested, I have a giveaway on my blog for a $60 gift certificate to CSN Stores:



34 Jessica Lee June 16, 2010 at 9:27 am

I hear you on not being able to grill in DT Chicago, heck the weather here has been TERRIBLE these past few days. I’m happy for the sun today though. I love your new toy!! I want a cast iron skillet. I want to do that “cook on the stove, let it finish in the oven” thing. Haha.


35 Jenn (eating bender) July 1, 2010 at 8:26 am

I completely agree with you! I’m all about letting it finish in the oven :)


36 Maytina June 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Grill pans are so rad! I have an indoor grill jobbie, and it’s sort of a pain to pull out and put away so I don’t use it much. If I had a grill pan, I’d be making sandwiches everyday!


37 Complete Kitchen November 16, 2010 at 10:17 am

i like to search the internet for new kitchen gadgets to add to my kitchen ;~`


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