Happenings (vi)

by Jenn (eating bender) on December 19, 2013


Whew. It was definitely not my intention to take a two-week hiatus from blogging. But between extra work projects (always a good thing), endless Christmas shopping (officially done!) and a desire to make the most of the seemingly fleeting weeks of December, it was necessary. Here are a few particularly fun things that have been “happening” lately.


1. Our final meeting of Reading Between the Wines in 2013 featured a holiday cookie exchange! Crinkle cookies were a no brainer for me, and I was really happy with how they turned out.



Nicole, Ari and Sheena’s cookies were all amazing, too. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a cookie with breakfast every day of the following week. I may have shared some with my family and Bobby, but I made sure there was plenty left for me to achieve this feat.

Nicole also whipped up a delicious batch of potato soup, complete with fixings…


…and Sheena brought these phenomenal meatballs. We all went back for more of each!


The book up for discussion this month was Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, a hilarious memoir by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess. If you aren’t familiar with her, then I suggest reading this post. If you find yourself unable to stop laughing, then pick up a copy of her book immediately.

I truly can’t wait for what’s to come with book club in 2014. It’s been such a great year of reading! So far this year I’m up to 27 books, which just so happens to be exactly what I did in 2012. At least I’m consistent. I hope to squeeze one more in before the new year to get closer to my original goal of 35 (side note: how are we nearly back to January?), but we’ll see. For 2014, I think I may try Katie’s method of counting pages instead. I love that idea!


2. Last weekend, a food blogger meet up more than five years in the making finally came to fruition when I had breakfast with Shannon and her fiancé, Mike! They were en route to the airport after an amazing week of hiking in Sedona, and we had a great time chatting at Butters Pancakes & Café. Having known each other virtually since 2008 (I still remember the days when you went by “ttfn300,” Shannon!), it felt more like we had simply gone a long time without seeing each other rather than meeting in person for the first time.

Also, the food was delicious. I got the Florentine Benedict with poached eggs and sautéed spinach on an English muffin with hollandaise. The hash browns it came with were pretty tasty, too.


Now if only Shannon and Mike lived in AZ… :)


3. I was so excited when Honest Tea contacted me about featuring my recipe for quinoa-stuffed roasted green peppers on their blog. It was great because 1) it reminded me that I haven’t made those in a while and 2) in the spirit of refreshing honesty, it caused me to wonder when exactly was the last time I created a new recipe. I am not sure I want to know the answer, BUT I’m looking forward to trying some things out with my family over Christmas, that’s for sure!


4. Speaking of my family, topping our holiday wish list this year is two more Packers victories, which would earn them a spot in the playoffs. Last week’s comeback win against the Cowboys was a crazy combination of stress and joy. I’m hoping for some tidings of comfort this week instead.


5. If you’re celebrating Christmas, I hope it’s a very merry one! We’ll be staying in Arizona this year and are looking forward to participating in the annual Bender family Christmas Day 9-Holer.


Will this year bring sun, rain or perhaps even a bit of snow (hey, it could happen)? We shall see.

In the meantime, I brought back the snow on my site – one of my favorite blogging traditions.

What’s happening in your life lately? Any big plans for Christmas?



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jess December 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Merry Christmas! December is definitely fleeting isn’t it! Your book club sounds like so much fun! Arizona really seems to suit you guys :)
Jess recently posted..Thursday ThingsMy Profile


2 Erica December 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Wow! All the food looks incredible! I want to bake cookies every darn day ;). So cool that you got to meet Shannon. We will meet one day!! Minnie ornament <3. We are having both of our parents over for Christmas. SUPER excited!!


3 Cara (Twinthusiast) December 19, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Great update. I love your tree!
Cara (Twinthusiast) recently posted..Toddler Sentences, TranslatedMy Profile


4 Susan December 20, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Both the tree and the crinkle cookies are beautiful! :)


5 Toronto Girl West December 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I’ve never had potato soup – I should make some one day!

As for big things lately – we went to China for a whole month!!! lol :) And we got back just a short while ago.
Toronto Girl West recently posted..25 Years LaterMy Profile


6 Carolyn December 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

Those crinkle cookies look amazing! Nicole’s potato soup is soooo wonderful.
Enjoy the holiday season Jenn!


7 Shannon December 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm

ha, the days before i came out with my real name 😉 great-looking cookies! i missed having a swap this year. hope you had a wonderful holiday!
Shannon recently posted..Coconut Macarons w/GanacheMy Profile


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