The Beginning

by Jenn (eating bender) on January 2, 2011

Has 2011 been a winning year for you so far?

We’ve won some and lost some, but overall, definitely can’t complain over here. Although our beloved Northwestern Wildcats lost in the TicketCity Bowl on New Year’s Day, our next most beloved Green Bay Packers picked up a win today, securing them a spot in the NFL playoffs! 1 out of 2 – not bad.

The company I’ve been keeping? Definite win.

Aren’t they studs?

One could argue that we also won the “best dressed fans” award.

But I suppose that’s debatable, depending on which team you’re rooting for.

Yet if there is one win that’s not up for review, it would be the new year food.

New Year’s Eve brought a feast of unparalleled proportions. Papa Bender put out all the stops and managed to create six perfect dishes for our dinner table.

Deconstructed, we have sweet potato fries and cornbread…

Zucchini and onions, along with marinated mushrooms…

And last but certainly not least, peppercorn filet mignon and grilled lobster tail seasoned with rosemary.

Everything paired seamlessly together and the flavor of each dish was phenomenal with some vino.

We rang in 2011 with the ball drop in New York City and some roasted marshmallows. Twas lovely.

New Year’s morning brought with it Mama Bender’s infamous breakfast: Brunch Egg Casserole!

It was delicious, as always. Especially when paired with a New Year’s mimosa. πŸ˜‰

And some fabulous football. The ‘Cats gave it their all, even if the end result wasn’t in their favor.

We munched on some nachos during the game, in typical football fashion.

And once it was over, we ventured out to play a game of our own. Boys vs. girls, with Bobby (who currently has a broken right wrist from our honeymoon, though I haven’t blogged about that yet!) was the left-handed quarterback for both teams. Ultimately, the boys were victorious 5-4. It was a close one!

The rest of the afternoon was games, games and more games. So much so, that we were ready for yet another feast when it came time for dinner: Papa Bender FAJITAS!

All the usual veggie fixings were available – with chicken, shrimp and flank steak for the protein.

I enjoyed every bite with one of Mama Bender’s Ultimate Margaritas (patent pending). Cheers!

Spending time with my family has been the greatest “win” of all. The new year is off to a lovely start.

Question: What has been the highlight of 2011 thus far?

There are only 48 hours to choose from. Choose wisely. πŸ˜‰


1 Megan January 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Happy New Year! There is so much yummy food in this post I don’t even know where to start commenting! So far the highlight of the New Year has been spending time with family…you can’t beat that!

2 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Thanks, Megan! I completely agree – family time rocks. :)

3 Astrid January 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Buying our first BlueRay movie on our BlueRay player!! A Team. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. But it felt exciting.

4 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm

That’s great! I laughed out loud about the not being able to tell the difference part – I don’t think I would be able to, either! :)

5 elise January 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm

definitely the packers’ win! im nervous for next week against the eagles though….fingers crossed!

6 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Fingers very tightly crossed. People say they are the underdogs – I say give them a chance! πŸ˜‰

7 Lauren January 3, 2011 at 5:45 am

Fajita nights at the Benders are the only way I could see you starting off 2011! Sounds perfect and looks amazing!!

8 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Haha! You know me so well. :) Thank you!

9 MarathonVal January 3, 2011 at 6:25 am

Happy New Years, Jenn!!! So glad you had a fun time with family. Since in 2010 you STARTED YOUR OWN BUSINESS (!!!!) I can only imagine what amazing things you will accomplish in 2011!

10 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Happy New Year, Val! Thanks for the sweet words – I can’t wait to see you in 2011! Let’s make it happen SOON!

11 Erica January 3, 2011 at 7:06 am

It was just NOT a good day for the big 10 yesterday! bahhhh. Such yummy eats. Sweet potato fries? And lobster tail? Your family rocks! Favorite memory from 2011 so far? Oh gosh, probably dinner out with friends on New Years

12 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I know, right?! I’m sorry about Penn State. :( Glad you had a fun New Years, though!

13 Salah January 3, 2011 at 7:12 am

Happy New Year!! That lineup of food looks amazing!! :_) Cornbread is one of my favorite things ever lol.

14 Megan (Braise The Roof) January 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

Happy New Year, Jenn! I think it’s going to be a good one! Your New Year’s looks like so much fun- I wish I could convince my family to play a game of pick up football! I think they’d all look at me like I was crazy. Haha :)

Ps. Are those the sweet potato fries from Trader Joes?? They are THE best.

15 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I think it’s going to be a good one, too! And I would be willing to bet that they are the Trader Joe’s fries. They were incredible!

16 Andrea of Care to Eat January 3, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Go Texas Tech! Sorry Jenn :( But hey, at least NOBODY will remember the “infamous” Ticket City Bowl of 2011 :)

17 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Yeah, yeah, yeah. πŸ˜‰ You make a good point – and it was an exciting game!!

18 Marianne January 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

My highlight involves none of this football nonsense πŸ˜‰ As of last night, my beloved Vancouver Canucks are the #1 team in the NHL. Woot!

Happy New Year’s Jenn!

19 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Hahaha – well congrats to your Canucks! That’s great! Happy New Year’s, Marianne. :)

20 BroccoliHut January 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Highlight of 2011? Perhaps the purchase of my new Crock Pot:)

21 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Definite highlight if I’ve ever heard one. :)

22 Shannon January 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm

sounds like you had a wonderful year, christmas, and new years :) here’s to an even better (maybe more relaxing) 2011!

23 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Thanks, Shannon! I hope it’s more relaxing…but I won’t get my hopes up, haha! Hope your year is off to a great start!

24 inmytummy January 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm

My highlight was seeing an old friend from high school that I haven’t seen in 8 years.

25 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm

That’s really great, Lee!

26 Kristina @ Life as Kristina January 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm

All that food looks wayyyyyyyy to good!

27 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Aw, thank you Kristina!! My dad is an amazing cook, that’s for sure!

28 Monique January 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Beautiful meals!! I love going home to dine with my parents :) And while neither my university nor the one at the athletics department I worked in had football, I’m trying really hard this season to get into college football :)

29 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Thanks, Monique! College football is definitely one of my favorites. Glad you’re getting into it! :)

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