Dessert/ Dinner

A Good Surprise

I wasn’t sure about tonight’s dinner. I was sort in a down-ish mood to begin with because Ryan had just left to go back to Tampa and I was on my own. I have been craving Macaroni & Cheese all day long so I knew I wanted that but I also knew I couldn’t survive on just that alone…I needed something more of some substance! So…I did a little combo action to make Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli and Butternut. You know what? It was great! I was skeptical about the cheesy flavors going with the roasted butternut squash, but surprisingly they went well together! This is a great example of putting together a healthy, nutritious meal in about 10 minutes. Take Annie’s Natural Mac & Cheese out of pantry, quickly blanch some broccoli, cook pasta in same broccoli water, toss on the cheese sauce, add leftover squash and you’re done! SO easy! And quite filling as well! I used 3 ounces of broccoli, 1/2 cup of leftover roasted butternut squash and 1 cup prepared Annie’s mac & cheese for this. I also topped it with 1 tbsp parmesan cheese and had 4 ounces of red wine to drink with it. Wonderful! Look for this recipe on my recipes page 🙂


This dinner was about 377 calories (plus another 100 for my wine for 477).


Now, for dessert!

I wanted something tasty and comforting so I decided to make cinnamon poached pear with vanilla ice cream. Trust me–sounds fancier than what it was! All I did was peel and thinly slice one ripe pear and sprinkle it with some cinnamon/sugar and lemon juice before simmering it in a small saucepan with about 1 tbsp water. In about three minutes the pear was all warm and tender and smelled amazing! I topped it with 1/2 cup of Breyer’s All Natural Vanilla ice cream for a wonderful little dessert!

Pear while I was simmering it on the stove

The final outcome: 221 calories (81 from the pear and 140 from 1/2 cup ice cream)


Now I’m off to take a bubble bath and read in bed. I’m exhausted from getting home late last night and waking up early this morning. See you tomorrow!

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  • jess
    January 2, 2008 at 2:20 am

    First off, pears are one of my favorite fruits (so delicately sweet!), do you have any favorites in particular? Or any foods that you just plain ol’ don’t like, regardless of how they’re prepared?
    Second, the bubble bath sounds amazing- just may have to copy that idea too. Hope your night is/was really relaxing and that you can enjoy kicking back with a good book 😉

  • Monica
    January 2, 2008 at 2:27 am

    Hi Jenna! I have been reading your blog several times a day for the last week! Needless to say I am addicted to it! I too have a passion for nutrition and cooking and your blog is very inspiring! I am wondering about your certification as a nutrition and wellness consultant. I am 22 years old and graduated last May with a degree in psychology. But I love nutrition and the certification sounds like something I would love to do! I am strongly considering doing this but I am curious on your experience and thoughts! Anything would be very helpful, thanks 🙂


  • jenna
    January 2, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Hi Monica!

    Thanks so much for reading! You sound just like me 🙂 I graduated with a degree in English but my passion remains in cooking/nutrition. After talking to one of my good friends who is a personal trainer, she recommended this company to me to become certified as a nutrition and wellness consultant. I know that, in a way, it’s sort of an “easy way out” of going back to school to become an RD, and for awhile I researched doing just that but the path that an RD takes is different than my personal goals so I felt this “consultant” was the best fit. It was a three month long on your own program ending with a case study where you actually counsel someone and write up a detailed nutrition plan for their goals/body type. I found everything VERY interesting mainly just because I love everything about this stuff! I loved reading the textbook, doing the quizzes, working on the case study…it was all fascinating to me to learn more about nutrition! I also had to listen to Dr.Andrew Weil’s audio book on optimum health, which was fascinating. I highly recommend it!

    In a nutshell, I think that if you are interested in actually being “certified” (aka having a certificate and a cool little card) to help people, this is for you. Its not going to give you another degree or something more behind your name but I did it really to put on my resume and because I think it will benefit me down the road for my longterm goals of writing cookbooks and maybe dabbling in some nutritional personal chef stuff 😉

    check out the website…it is expensive but then again, its cheaper than going back to schooL! it all depends on what your longterm career goals are I think!

    Thanks so much for reading!

  • jenna
    January 2, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Hi Jess 🙂

    I LOVE pears!!! Recently I have been eating a lot of the juicy ripe red pears and was so excited to find them on sale tonight! Since you are a fellow pear lover I’ll tell you my short pear story about the best pear/piece of fruit I ever ate—when I lived in France my apartment was 2 blocks from a huge farmer’s market that went on every wed/fri/sunday. Everything was SO fresh there…I’m talking the lettuce still had dirt on it, the eggs were still warm and the fruit was just off the tree. Amazing! I bought a pear there after class one afternoon that was (i’m serious!) the size of 2 fists put together!!! It probably weighed an entire pound!!!! I ate the entire thing on my walk home, letting the juice run everywhere and getting completely sticky and gross in the process but it was the ripest/most wonderful piece of produce i ever ate and now I am constantly comparing everything to it! Too bad I can’t find anything like that here in the States!!!

    About foods I dislike….I’m trying to think….in general I don’t eat a lot of meat…which is funny because I just finished my meat fabrication class at school where all we did was learn everything about meat (how to carve it, how to cook it…everything!) from frog legs to oxtails (see previous posts!! its funny!). I really don’t like frog legs, alligator tail, oxtail, fatty cuts of beef, oysters unless they are roasted on a bbq and served with hot sauce and saltines, duck….I pretty much love all fruits and veggies and grains though!

    fun question, thanks!!!

  • Danielle
    January 2, 2008 at 3:30 am

    I made oatmeal chocolate & vanilla chip cookies tonight! Omg heavenly! And I enjoyed one with a cup of real hot chocolate 😉 Every last bite was so totally worth it and I just wanted to share my excitement of my newfound ability to savor “le petit bonheur.” On that note, I’m really looking forward to your baking classes! Not to mention, I’m wondering what your all-time favorite dessert is? First question of the year 🙂

  • jenna
    January 2, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Danielle those cookies sound amazing! Where did you find the recipe? I’m in the cookie baking mode except the only problem is that it’s just going to me here for awhile and I would have no one to share them with!!

    You asking me to name my all-time favorite dessert is probably the most difficult question ever! I would have to say though that I enjoyed my favorite dessert of my entire life when I was with my mom in Paris and we stopped to have a midafternoon “pick-me-up” at Laduree—a very famous parisian pastry shop. I ordered three mini macaroons (see website below) and a cafe (espresso). The macaroons were just these tiny little pieces of air but had the most amazing flavor I have ever tasted with a creamy middle and a chewy exterior. They come in all flavors under the sun but I think I ordered a chocolate one, a licorice one, a rose one and a coffee one. The espresso came with a little silver pot of hot cream and while I did take a picture of all this, my computer crashed while I was there and I lost everything on it. 🙁 I can still taste those macaroons though….and on my last night in Paris some of my friends and I went back there and I got a LARGE (hey, it was my last night!!) dark chocolate macaroon and devoured every single last crumb. ahh…makes me want to go back….

    My everyday favorite dessert though that I could get in the States would be homemade gingerbread (in shape of a loaf or cake…the old fashioned kind) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Love gingerbread! 🙂

  • Kath
    January 2, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Yum! I just found a box of Harry and David Royal Rivera Pears in our work fridge and am bringing 4 HUGE pears home. I think I’ll poach them like you did with some egg nog ice cream for dessert!! If I don’t have one for a snack first 🙂