A Day Full of Surprises!

by jenna on November 8, 2008

Wow!

What a fun and educating day I have had….I have learned SO much! I hope yall did too from my posts! Dave Grotto was the best—his second book hits stores later this winter. He is such an inspiration and really makes healthy eating and nutrition so basic and easy to understand. So often I feel like we try to complicate things but it’s so basic. Eat real, whole foods. Totally my philosophy, too—NO food is “bad”! Love it.

Another exciting part of the day was when they brought in a special guest to do a cooking demonstration! Drum roll please………………….it was Stephanie Izard from last season’s Top Chef!!!!!!!!

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How exciting is THAT?! She was SO nice and down to earth and we chatted about culinary school—she went to a different branch of my school and that was really neat! She did a great demo making banana oatmeal mini pancakes:

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After the demo, we all got to try one with pomegranate syrup and sliced banana. It was divine.

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Around 3:30, our Living Proof day concluded and we had a couple hours of “free time” until dinner at 7:15. I finally got around to snacking on a new Quaker bar: True Delights. I tried the Banana Coconut Macadamia Nut one.

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It.was.awesome. And I’m not just saying that because it’s Quaker! When these hit the stores I will definitely be stocking up. Usually granola bars don’t do anything for me, but this was a wonderful combo of sweet, chewy and crunchy. It had huge chunks of nuts in it along with dried banana pieces for a great combo of textures. I really really liked it!

I rested upstairs for about an hour and then Kath and I bundled up and took a great walk down Michigan Ave! We ended up walking for about an hour and fifteen minutes, which was great! I love walking in new cities!! I just couldn’t believe it was already dark out and it was only 4:30….craazy. We stopped at Starbucks and I got a nonfat tall Chai to take with me to keep warm!

And for dinner tonight we went here.

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It was faaaaaaaabulous! Seriously, I couldn’t have picked a better restaurant! Everything about it was perfect. When we got there, we were ushered upstairs to a private room just for us overlooking the skyline. Immediately, we were brought wine (I got a glass of Pinot Noir) and tiny bruschettas and crab cakes:

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Here was our special menu planned exclusively for us. It contained the restaurants healthiest choices!

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I had the endive salad:

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Which was delicious! I loved the walnuts in it.

And for my entree, I chose the salmon. You KNOW I can’t resist salmon when I see it on a menu!

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With delicious multi-grain bread (I had 1.5 slices). The picture didn’t come out though! Sad!

I totally cleaned my plate completely. It was sooo freakin’ good! I think dessert outweighed it all though………

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An apple crisp made with quaker oats and topped with vanilla ice cream! I thought that I died and went to heaven. The crust was THICK and super crunchy. I ate about 3/4ths of it….could have finished it but didn’t want to have that exploding full feeling as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep at night. To die for.

Amy, the wonderful pastry chef came out and met us! She was so sweet and bubbly!

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Some of the bloggers were headed to a bar for another reader meetup but I am so tired that I can’t even keep my eyes open so I called it a night. Tomorrow I am really really really going to try to work out in the morning and then am going to Panera at 10:00 to meet more of my amazing blog readers! Then, it’s back to Florida for this girl!

Kath and I have been working all weekend on a special video…I think it will be ready at some time tomorrow and we will “air” it. Basically, we have taken our camcorders everywhere with us this weekend and shot footage EVERYWHERE! I think you guys will love it!

G’night!

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Oh She Glows November 8, 2008 at 10:28 pm

Ohhh…can’t wait to see the video. :)
I can’t get over how amazing Quaker has treated you….’ushered to a private room’….sounds so swanky!!

Hope you sleep better tonight!

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Erin November 8, 2008 at 10:32 pm

NO FREAKIN’ WAY!!! I LOVE HER!
I have to say, I am in love with your outfits today. Let’s get together and blow some cash.
Glad you’re having such an awesome trip Jenna!

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emily November 8, 2008 at 10:35 pm

that sounds so fun! It’s so nice that you get this weekend amidst your hard days at work.

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Katie November 8, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Between your posts and Kath’s, I kind of feel like I was there… It looks like so much fun!

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HangryPants November 8, 2008 at 10:54 pm

I like your polka dotted sweater.

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Nat November 8, 2008 at 10:56 pm

It all looks like a lot of fun! I love the collaboration with other bloggers. :)

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jess November 8, 2008 at 11:13 pm

Your posts have definitely been really informative- And I love stephanie- Lucky!

It’s really cool that you got to meet the pastry chef! Did you talk to her about your experiences in the pastry kitchen so far and your ambitions?

Can’t wait to see the video ;)

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sharon November 8, 2008 at 11:13 pm

Hi Jenna,
I can’t wait to see the video!! Wish I could’ve met up with you & Kath this weekend (I live in Chicago). I’m so happy you are having such a good time! I also hate how it gets so dark here so early since the time change. Also, with the weather being so gray & icky, it gets dark even earlier! You guys should’ve been here last weekend- it was gorgeous & sunny. Oh well, Chicago’s still lots of fun just the same! Enjoy the rest of your stay here in our windy & COLD city! Love the blog :-)

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Santa Barbara Dreaming November 8, 2008 at 11:15 pm

dark at 4:30? eek!
Your Chicago weekend just seems to keep getting better and better! The restaurant you went to for dinner looks so delicious. It’ so cool that you get to meet a whole bunch of people.
PS – I really like your bangs! They look ‘banging’! haha!
Must say I am very interested in seeing yours and Kath’s video.

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Megan November 8, 2008 at 11:17 pm

First, I love your sweater in the last pic…where is that from?!
Second, the food looks amazing! And I’m glad you had such a wonderful time in Chicago!!
Third, I can’t wait to see the video!

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ashley (sweet & natural) November 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm

I just saw that salad on Kath’s blog too and now I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to recreate something similar tomorrow. Craving! So glad you’re having a great time. Looks like so much fun!

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Andrea November 8, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Jenna, it looks like you are having a great time! That Quaker: True Delights bar looks amazing…I love banana anything! When are they coming out?!?!

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Moran November 9, 2008 at 2:34 am

Its dark here at around 4PM too! I really don’t like daylight savings! All the food looks SO good Jenna!

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seelivelee (for the love of peanut butter) November 9, 2008 at 6:53 am

yay! i can’t wait to see the video. your salmon looks really fresh, crusty, and ahhhh just the way it should!!!! i love sesame and ginger so I know I’d dig that dish. Lucky you!

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Megan November 9, 2008 at 7:10 am

How exciting to meet her!!! Looks like you guys are having a fabulous weekend. Wish I was there! Can’t wait to see the video!

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VeggieGirl November 9, 2008 at 7:15 am

I LOVE ‘TOP CHEF’!!!!!!!! Wowza, what an amazing time you’re having!!

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Runjen November 9, 2008 at 7:34 am

I absolutely love these posts!!! I love “traveling Jenna” even more than “Florida Jenna.” You need to take it on the run more often! :)

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Dave Grotto, RD November 9, 2008 at 7:55 am

Jenna:

What a pleasure to have met you and all of the rest of the bloggers! You guys are awesome!

Keep up the great work of spreading th news that great taste and good nutrition can finally live as one! You rock!!

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Teddy November 9, 2008 at 8:01 am

Can’t wait to see your video!!

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Amanda November 9, 2008 at 9:46 am

Glad you are enjoying Chicago! I love my hometown and am always excited to see what first-time visitors think of our great city!
It does get dark and cold around here in the winter, but the amazing surroundings and things to do certainly make up for it!

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allie November 9, 2008 at 10:23 am

come on jenna, don’t tease us, where is that sweater from? I love love LOVE it!

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Mara November 9, 2008 at 12:54 pm

OMG, MK is one of my favorite restaurants!! They used to do this thing called “alphabet soup”, where the menu was printed on edible paper, then they’d bring you soup, and you’d tear up your menu into small pieces and put them in the soup!

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jenna November 9, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Allie,

Thanks!!!!! It’s from Anthropologie :)

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