Eating My Chops

by Jenn (eating bender) on August 4, 2010

Hello there and welcome to the middle of the week! I currently have an Empire State of Mind as I am leaving for New York City in 24 hours…to fulfill my role as The New Dork!

“Social networks what dreams are made of, there’s nothin’ you can’t do!”

That said, I am both excited and nervous for our speaking panel at BlogHer this Friday morning! I’ve spoken in front of people before but never at a conference like this. I am truly looking forward to it but would love to hear your tips for staying calm and confident before a big event. Any ideas?!

One thing that always keeps me calm is chatting about food. :)

My breakfasts have been somewhat monotonous lately, but in a very delicious way. I can’t get enough of the Greek yogurt + Kashi + blueberry + nut butter combination.

This was Fage yogurt with Earth Balance crunchy peanut butter, which is very good! It has the perfect balance of smoothness and chunkiness – plus it’s no-stir!

It has been a busy week, so multiple mugs of Coffee Cocoa are typically enjoyed while reading.

Followed by several hours of work as we prepare content for clients and get ourselves in a place where we can truly enjoy every moment of our trip to NYC. It’s totally worth it!

Eventually, a break for lunch is necessary, which these days usually means a “second breakfast” in the form of scrambled eggs with chicken sausage, spinach and reduced-fat Mexican cheese.

The extra is on the left side of the plate. The rest of the goodness is tucked inside a Flatout Garden Spinach wrap (note: free sample provided by a client). I also had some perfectly ripe strawberries.

The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to more work, with a little bit of organization and packing thrown into the mix. My apartment has been a bit chaotic – to say the least – these past few weeks and I am determined to make it look nice again before I leave!

But there was some fun thrown into the mix. Bobby has recently determined that it is very necessary for us to go on a walk after work. Who am I to object to that? We plan on going on random walks every night from now on – perhaps even into the winter, but we’ll see if I’m daring enough for that! It’s always nice to have some time to chat while getting in some exercise, too.

Dinner was also a lot of fun – and something I’ve never made myself before! We found pork chops at the store over the weekend and decided to try them out.

I didn’t really follow a recipe, but I knew I wanted a “no fuss” way to make them and that meant baking instead of on the grill. I preheated the oven to 350*F and oiled a baking pan. Then I rubbed each of the pork chops with garlic salt, pepper, mesquite spices and barbecue sauce.

I baked them for 30 minutes, then pulled them out and flipped each chop over. I then baked them for an additional 15-20 minutes each. You may want to go for another 30 minutes if they are thick chops, but these were on the thin side and didn’t need as much time.

They turned out quite beautiful, if I do say so myself! I even tweeted that Papa Bender would be proud. It’s hard to keep pork chops moist, but I think that baking them really helped seal in the juices.

Meanwhile, Bobby put together a vegetable feast of peas, carrots and mushrooms cooked in Natural NAKANO. I truly did think the NAKANO brought out the flavor, as Holly Clegg suggested.

A magnificent feast and meal for two. :)


The skies are a very scary color right now! Here’s hoping it doesn’t storm too badly. This girl (as I take a break from typing to point to myself) does not like storms. The only time I appreciate lightning is when I am watching it…in a video.

Before I go, I have a very special announcement! A reader and fellow blogger John is on a mission to go for 40 races before he turns 40! He’s decided to enter himself into Stride’s Stridea contest and is doing incredibly well so far. He’s even launched himself on Twitter as @Strideaman to continue to spread the word, which I, of course, love! :)

There are less than 5 days left to vote! I am so excited for John and his racing dreams that I would encourage all of you to vote for him here. You can do so every day if you’d like!

Good luck to you, John! He is even going to be featured on a TV and radio show tomorrow. You can read more about it in his latest post.

STORM UPDATE: My building is shaking and I can’t see anything out of the window because of the rain. This is not looking good, friends. Not good at all.

Happy thought: What is your favorite thing to do in NYC, if you’ve visited?

See you all in the Big Apple!


1 Jessica @ How Sweet August 4, 2010 at 6:21 am

I love NYC! I am probably so annoying when I go there… like such a tourist even though I’ve been multiple times. I just love the busy city atmosphere!

2 megan @ a very meg girl August 4, 2010 at 7:07 am

Well since I live here! Hehe I would have to say central park! There is so much to do and explore you can get lost in their for hours!

3 Astrid August 4, 2010 at 7:10 am

Seeing a show on broadway is my absolute favorite thing to do in New York, even though have only done it once. I would also love to go and try out the good eateries and bakeries. My parents aren’t big foodies, so that was very low 9non existent) in their priorities when we were there. Have so much fun!

4 Diana@mymarblerye August 4, 2010 at 7:12 am

Run the Brooklyn bridge! One of my fave things ever!

5 jenna August 4, 2010 at 7:17 am

yikes. sounds like a scary storm!!
i’ve never been to NYC, but it’s definitely on my list of places to visit!

6 Laurie Shulman August 4, 2010 at 7:26 am

Have a safe trip, looking forward to seeing you!

7 Jenn (eating bender) August 4, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Aw, thank you Laurie! Can’t wait to see you!

8 Jessie (Bites and Pieces) August 4, 2010 at 7:27 am

Ugh, I hate scary storms too! We get them all the time here in Miami. I LOVE going to NYC, my favorite thing to do is eat all the delicious food I can get my hands on! Good luck on the panel, I’m sure you will do great. :)

9 brandi August 4, 2010 at 7:34 am

I’ve never been to NYC, but I’m sure you’ll find things to do and see :)

Good luck!!! You and Jill will be awesome, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

10 Brittany August 4, 2010 at 7:39 am

Wishing you all the best of luck for Friday’s session at BlogHER. I’m so sad that I’m going to miss it!

11 CaSaundra August 4, 2010 at 8:12 am

You will do amazing I am sure! Just make sure to take some deep breaths before you go up to speak :-)

12 Run Sarah August 4, 2010 at 9:21 am

I’ve always wanted to visit Central Park in NYC! I love second breakfasts for lunch – SO good!

13 Tracey August 4, 2010 at 9:42 am

The storms in Chicago have been terrible this morning. It is always scary when I can feel the highrise shaking from the loud thunder and wind!

I’ve done tons of public speaking and I have 2 things that always help me stay calm and confident. I always make sure I’m prepared before hand. So if I’m set to speak on Friday I would want everything ready to go by Tuesday. This way I have Wednesday to review and Thursday to relax.

The 1 thing that helps me the most to feel comfortable in the room and with the people is to arrive at the venue early. I like to greet people as they walk in the room. This makes the session feel more friendly and helps me relax because now the room is not just a bunch of stangers:)

And lastly have fun! You will do great!

14 Jenn (eating bender) August 4, 2010 at 10:15 am

These are fabulous tips, Tracey! Thank you very much! :)

15 Alisa August 4, 2010 at 10:28 am

Oh how exciting! Sorry no tips, but good luck at Blogher and have fun!

16 Matt August 4, 2010 at 11:40 am

I LOVE Earth Balance PB! I know some people who think it is disgusting, but I can get a spoon and do some damage on that jar πŸ˜‰

17 Jenn (eating bender) August 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Totally not disgusting! You and me should go head to head with a couple spoons and jars sometime πŸ˜‰

18 Erica August 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Best of luck at the conference! You will do fantastic. Open with a personal story and you will instantly feel more comfortable ! Plus it will help your audience members relate to you! You know, I’ve never made pork chops. I wonder if Josh likes them? I may have to try your method and do some up for him!!!

19 Marianne August 4, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I’ve never been to NYC :( So have lots of fun and I shall live vicariously through you!

20 Janet Scragg August 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm

What’s not too love in NYC, we found it much friendlier than Wash DC.
Theresa (and the boys) loved the super convenience of a hot dog cart at every corner.
Being somewhat food oriented when we travel, we naturally went to Coney Island to visit Nathan’s Hotdogs. Their dogs and chili cheese fries while not too healthy were quite tasty and topped off a busy day visiting the Met and Central Park.
We also loved the quirky poetry on the subway trains.

21 Mimi August 4, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I love NYC! Have you been to Pure Food & Wine and had the classic sundae? It’s the best dessert EVER, regardless if you’re raw, vegan, carnivore, whatever.

Pork is the most underrated meat ever. It’s awesome when cooked right.

22 Lauren August 4, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Love the city. Honestly, I think my favorite thing to do would be to walk in Central Park, visit Macy’s, and get a big salty pretzel from a street vendor.

Enjoy your trip! :)

23 Megan (Braise The Roof) August 4, 2010 at 8:50 pm

That WAS an intense storm this morning! At least it was short lived.

Those pork chops look awesome! I don’t make them very often either, but sometimes they just taste so good. They are the other white meat, after all. :)

24 Pure2Raw Twins August 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Good luck with everything on Friday though I have a feeling you will do great πŸ˜‰ Wish we could be there to listen and learn from you!!

Been to NYC twice and loved going to central park and walking around all the streets and shops.

25 Rachael August 4, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Native New Yorker, twenty one years in the city (and I miss it frequently)…check out Flor’s Ecuadorean Kitchen on East 2nd Street. Arepas so good you’ll want Mama Flor to adopt you! It’s a hole in the wall, so you have to look closely.
Enjoy your trip!

26 Erika August 5, 2010 at 9:55 am

I love BBQ pork chops – so moist and delicious!
I can’t find spinach FlatOuts anywhere! The stores around me only carry Original, Tomato, and Italian! :-(

27 Melissa @ TryingToHeal August 5, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Great job w/ the chops! My mom always baked them growing up so I never knew them cooked any other way than w/ bread crumbs! And homemade chunky applesauce to top it off!

28 Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 6, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Wow, it seems like everyone’s going to NYC!! I’ve been there twice but a few years ago so none of those “over 21” things were possible. Nothing dirty, of course! I’m talking about like going to the Daily Show or something like that πŸ˜› I really enjoyed seeing Momma Mia on Broadway. and of course Central Park was amazing! Next time I go, Food Network’s definitely gonna be on the list :)

29 Dhara P. August 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

hi Jen!!!

It was a great honor to live blog for you!!! And you were phenomenal!!!

As a native NY’er, one of my favorite things to do is rent a bike and bike down the West Side Highway from 190 St. to the financial center! There are designated biking lanes right along the water and little cafe’s and food stops (may particular fav is Boat Basin Cafe) It’s more the view and ambience of the place but a refreshing gazpacho hits the spot after/during a lovely ride.

Great meeting you and good luck with everything!


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