Bittersweet Homecoming

November 9, 2008

Kath + Jenna Love Quaker: The Movie!

It’s a bittersweet end to an excellent whirlwind of a weekend. I can’t say how excited I was to come home to blue skies, 60*, green grass and red, yellow + orange leaves. I think as much as I say I’d like to live in a city, I really do love our house, neighborhood and state. And kudos to the husband for a clean house!!! He’s so cute because I always leave saying in a sing-song tone: “It would be lovely to come home and have everything look perfect” and he’s always up for a challenge <3


Backtracking to this morning – I haven’t been by my computer all day!!!

I was awake at 6am and ready to start the day but our run wasn’t scheduled until 8. After some in-bed web browsing, I got up, packed, put on my winter gear and ate half of this banana –


I met my loyal and brave blog reader Anne and Roni of Roni’s Weigh in the lobby for our planned run along Lake Michigan. There was lots of drama this week about it being too cold to run – but it turned out to be perfect running weather!! We did somewhere between 5 and 5.5 miles – down by the river, out and down by Grant Park, and then Anne and I finished in Millennium Park. Thanks to you both for joining me!!! I gave Anne some Quaker True Delight bars :)

Anne and me!


And one with Roni!


After a quick shower, I was back down in the lobby to meet Anne and Jenna to walk to Panera for our second blog meet-up. After 15 brisk minutes, I was munching on this delicious grain bagel, which I topped with the other half of my giant banana (mashed!) and a packet of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter that I found at Starbucks yesterday. So hand!


Plus a Hazelnut coffee –


And a bite of Anne’s extra chocolate chip bagel! (She got it for free b/c they messed up her order)


I got in my 610 calorie breakfast :)

Here we are chatting it up!


After brunch where else would Jenna and I want to go? Whole Food!!! Jenny was SO KIND to offer to take us to the airport. THANK YOU FANCY!!! And we drove right by the mammoth Whole Foods near her neighborhood on her way out – where we had the brilliant idea to get lunch to go!


After the airport drive, a long check-in line and an even longer security line, I just barely made my flight!! I had to eat my salad on the plane (I was starving by 2pm despite the late breakfast). Taking a photo was definitely awkward. I think about 10 people were staring at me (or maybe they just wanted my salad!) But I just snapped this as quickly as I could. I can’t begin to remember what all was on the salad, but I think the 3 kinds of tofu were my favorite!


I wasn’t really hungry when I packed the salad (which was $10!) at Whole Foods, so I didn’t put on enough stuff. I was still hungry after so I ate the apple I brought from home.


My flight went perfectly – I got to edit the video in flight and had more people looking at my screen! I had on my headphones so they couldn’t hear. A nice man asked me at the end of the flight what I had been doing, so I told him about KERF. Hope he stopped by!

Once home at 5:00 (where’d my hour go!?) I began to unpack the loads and loads of Quaker swag, including these great gifts from my readers! Two kinds of soup, coconut butter, pumpkin bark, a delicious smelling tea!


And I finally got to try Anne’s pumpkin chocolate bars for a snack! They are SO GOOD – mostly because of the huge chocolate chunks 😉


After taking a bite, I decided to have oatmeal for a snack! In honor of Quaker and because I skipped it this AM. So I made half a packet of Cinnamon Swirl with some soy milk along with wheatberries and the pumpkin bar crumbled on top. SO GOOD!!!

DSC05765  DSC05763

Top This!

Yesterday during our big day at the Quaker Headquarters they made the big announcement that they are having an oatmeal challenge between the 15 of us to come up with an original recipe for a bowl of oatmeal! The prize? An all-expenses paid trip for two to the 2009 Quaker Oatmeal Festival in Lafayette, CO and 3 nights in Breckenridge, CO this January!! I think I would love to attend the Quaker Festival almost as much as the trip itself! The winner’s recipe will also be featured in Dave Grotto’s new book.

Of course the pressure is on for me with all of my previous combos. I’ve got an idea that actually the husband helped me fine tune at dinner. Wish me luck!!

Thanksgiving Challenge: Week 2

So I asked the husband to plan and shop for this week’s groceries and he fail miserably. I basically had to help him via the Internet this afternoon. But that’s OK because I am good at planning and shopping for food :) Here’s week 2’s goods:


  • Tilapia (the most expensive item despite being on sale)
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Romaine
  • Cottage cheese
  • Apples
  • Mushrooms
  • Acorn squash
  • Grapes (non-organic – $.99/lb at Harris Teeter!)
  • Green pepper
  • Bananas (a little short for a whole week there, hub…)
  • Deli ham (buy-one-get-one-free = half price!)
  • Cage-free eggs (also BOGO half price!!)
  • An orange

The Grand Total: $24.27

Month-To-Date: $41.36

Not bad!!! This week could have been even less, but the planning wasn’t ideal. I also came home to sour milk today and we are going to use up our pantry soy milk from Costco and get more cow’s milk next week. I also feel like we have SO MUCH FOOD now that I am back from my trip. We have tons and tons of oats, bars, baked goods and bread in this house. And here are 3 things that came home opened too – 2 cheeses from EF and dough (from GH)


Craving Combo

The only given at dinner tonight was baked potatoes from the 5 lb bag I got last week. I put them in the oven with a canola-salt rub for about an hour and they turned out perfectly crisp. We had planned on topping them with frozen chili, but I was having a major egg craving so I though that would be fun (it took some convincing of the husband, who wanted chili, but he decided it would be good). We also topped them with some shredded goat cheese, a jalapeno, and greek yogurt.



My new friend Kaitlyn, who coordinated the logistics of the Quaker weekend, is the Catch Up Lady. At dinner last night I learned that she eats ketchup on EVERYTHING and I had the idea to add some to my potato combo in her honor. (I had to put it in a bowl to heat it up – I hate cold ketchup.) It was good once I ate all the good toppings off :)


We had planned to have side salads with the potatoes, but neither of us were that hungry (damn snack!). But the husband did bring home this vegetarian loaf and I had a piece.


Don’t ask me what was in it because i have no idea!! It was a phyllo crust with a chewy grain layer and a sausage-like appley interior.



Lotsa orange around here! For dessert I had another 1″ square of pumpkin bar and a small piece of Madison’s pumpkin bark!


I am EGG-zausted. And totally thrilled that I took my organic test on Friday and don’t have to be on campus until 2pm tomorrow!!!!!!! I have a lot to catch up on in the AM though, so better get to bed. I think I’m going to sleep in a bit because I didn’t get enough this weekend.


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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenny November 9, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Wow what a fun weekend!! Glad you guys enjoyed yourselves. And good luck with that oatmeal challenge! If anyone can do it, it’s you!

You’ve got me craving baked potatoes now…

Have a great night!


2 Justy2003 November 9, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Thanks for the video! Loved it!

And good luck with that oatmeal challenge…sounds like it’s right up your ally 😉


3 Lida November 9, 2008 at 10:25 pm

I am so glad I got to meet you Kath! Hope you check out my blog and come back to Chicago another time.
By the way, was the Whole Foods salad bar better than EarthFare or the same?


4 Madison (FollowMyWeigh) November 9, 2008 at 10:26 pm

roni told us about that contest and we were all like “kath is so gonna win.” lol!!

yup, i agree that was one helluva oatmeal!! watch out kath!


5 hk November 9, 2008 at 10:29 pm

wohooo the video is fab! all looks amazing :) glad it was fun!!


6 Kath November 9, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Lida ,
You too! Whole Foods had a lot more food, but quality wise, I might give the award to EarthFare!

Madison (FollowMyWeigh) ,
I totally am not going to win!! It’s blindly judged and we have rules – I’m scared!



7 Rachel November 9, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Wonderful photos! Thanks for such informative posts about the whole weekend. I feel like I was there!


8 Alanna @ A Veggie Venture November 9, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Ha – the Kath & Jenna Show is hilarious! Aren’t the flip video cameras amazing!!


9 Molly November 9, 2008 at 10:40 pm

It looks like such a fun trip! I’m super jealous – I love Chicago!

Did the Whole Foods people care that you were videotaping their salad bar, lol?


10 Andrea November 9, 2008 at 10:46 pm

your trip looks amazing!! i can’t get over the millions of opportunities the blogging world provides. it’s truly amazing! good luck with your recipe :)


11 Fancy November 9, 2008 at 10:46 pm

I posted this on Jenna’s blog earlier…I wanted to post it here, too! I love the video—I’m so excited to be on it!

Ok Everyone….Jenna and Kath are so much fun! We had a great time together today at Whole Foods and driving to the airport. They are seriously as sweet in person as they are on their blogs. I can’t wait for both of them to come back to Chicago and hang out with me again! Thanks for such a fun morning, guys! I’m so glad I could help you both out
-Jenny (aka Fancy)


12 Maggie November 9, 2008 at 10:47 pm

What an awesome day :) Glad you had fun! Yay for ketchup – I love it too.


13 Oh She Glows November 9, 2008 at 10:50 pm

haha I LOVE this:

“I got in my 610 breakfast”

Love the recap…I have to go to bed but I will so be watching the video tomorrow!


14 Marianne November 9, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Entertaining video!

And I’m amazed at how all out Quaker went for this whole weekend. Actually, it amazes me how companies in the US really utilize the whole blog community to test & promote their products. Canadian companies could really learn from it – or even the Canadian division of some of the American companies.


15 Julia November 9, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Wow oh wow oh wow oh wow. Looks like SUCH a great weekend! I loved the video of you and Jenna; too cute!
Congrats for doing so well on your Thanksgiving challenge

I have a question for you Kath: what do you recommend wearing for runs outside in the cold? I’m trying to find running shirts/tops that are warm but not baggy/get in the way. I have no idea where to start looking…


16 caitlin November 9, 2008 at 10:59 pm

i dont think the video is comign up anymore? i’ll try again in a few!

you look like you had a great weekend! it was so fun to read about.


17 JOY November 9, 2008 at 11:03 pm

You rock! i hope one day my blog is as cool as yours and I can hang with the big girl bloggers. :-) You guys seem TOTALLY fun!!


18 Bacon November 9, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Sounds like a great trip and so many yummy pictures!! By the way, you have been tagged!! :-)


19 steph November 9, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Yum, can we get the recipe for Anne’s Pumpkin Chocolate Bar? I am glad everyone had such a fun weekend filled with friends, education and great food!


20 Amy November 9, 2008 at 11:22 pm

I couldn’t see the video either-oh wells. I am just so impressed by your and Jenna’s weekend-such cool stuff that you girls got to see and do :) WOW!


21 Melissa November 9, 2008 at 11:25 pm

You have to win the contest so I can meet you at the Quaker Festival in January and show you around my beautiful state of Colorado! I’ll be rooting for you!!


22 Megan Brechtel November 9, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Hey Kath! This is my first time commenting on your blog- but I have been reading it for almost a year now :) I love you and Jenna’s video. Looks like y’all had so much fun in Chicago. And your egg sandwich looked delicious. I love egg sandwiches. I also want to say I always enjoy your dinner plates and napkins and mugs…so cute! Have a good night :)


23 Ryane November 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Oh you and Jenna are too cute – I hope I get to meet up with you again in the future and definitely Jenna at some point!

I wish I could get better about my own freakin’ blog, how fun to get whisked away to fun conferences learned about the healthy things we all love!
It would help to if I could stop breaking, dropping and misplacing any digital camera I get my hand on… (grrr… 3 in 9 months – no good!)

So are you oated out for a couple days????


24 Runeatrepeat November 9, 2008 at 11:41 pm

I hate cold ketchup too. I normally keep it out and the BF put the last bottle in the fridge I was mad! It never goes bad for me on the shelf.


25 Deb November 9, 2008 at 11:48 pm

The Coconut butter your reader gave you is A.Maz.Ing. But don’t refrigerate it or it’ll be rock hard. Even in my pantry in So Cal, it’s a bit crumbly right now. But sooo yummy.

I’m totally envious of how you can keep your grocery bill so low even buying organic! I imagine I must spend twice what you do, grr. I guess organic stuff isn’t often on sale here. Will keep eyes peeled for bogos though! :-)


26 Runeatrepeat November 9, 2008 at 11:57 pm

p.s. – I couldn’t see the video either, it says that it’s no longer available.


27 Dave Grotto, RD November 10, 2008 at 12:01 am

Hi Kath:

So glad you had a good time here in Chi-town. It was an honor and a pleasure to have met you and all of the wonderful bloggers who attended the Quaker event.

Looks like you have lots of fans that are pulling for you to win the big contest – I’d be thrilled to add your winning recipe to my book – good luck!!


28 Charlie Hills November 10, 2008 at 12:33 am

So how tall are you, Kath?


29 Halie November 10, 2008 at 12:55 am

Welcome back!! Please give a review on the coconut butter! I’ve never even heard of it! Is it like a coconut version of peanut butter?

Well, I daresay you had an amazing weekend! I think you have a GREAT chance at winning that contest!


30 Maureen November 10, 2008 at 4:55 am

Where can I get the recipe for those pumpkin chocolate bars? Sounds like you had a great time. Sorry about your airport experience, I HATE when people are nosy like that. It really irks me when people listen to cell phone conversations I’m having… not even subtly, they just STARE.


31 coco November 10, 2008 at 5:54 am

such a great weekend….. a lot of oatmeal, a lot of cute people…a lot of good eats and a lot of fun! We’re all jealous of you Kath!


32 Heather McD November 10, 2008 at 6:48 am

Quaker Oatmeal Festival – I am so excited because my husband and I are moving to Colorado, and I would love to go. I’ve read about it before – there is a huge oatmeal bar and a 5K race. Sounds like so much fun. Oh, and coconut butter is AMAZING. I found last summer in Colorado, but they don’t sell it in Nashville (where we currently live). I’m stocking up for sure when we move out West. It’s like coconut melting in your mouth – delicious on oatmeal and in smoothies. Glad you had a good time in Chicago. Best wishes for a kick a** oatmeal recipe.


33 zestycook November 10, 2008 at 7:04 am

Kath, Looks like you had an awesome weekend! A lot of oatmeal but for you – I think that is just fine.

Have a great start to the week


34 Michelle November 10, 2008 at 7:09 am

What a great video! Sounds like you had a wonderful time! How exciting!!


35 polly November 10, 2008 at 7:11 am

Kath, you and jenna are adorable!! Thanks so much for being such an inspiration and you gotta win that oatmeal contest, girl!!!!


36 Sarah November 10, 2008 at 7:31 am

how the hell do you only spend $24 at the store?!!!!!!

man, I need to re-evaluate my shopping experiences for hubby & I!


37 seelee live (for the love of peanut butter) November 10, 2008 at 7:52 am

i LOVE the video! Your salad looks so festive, Kath! How sweet of him to clean the house. Now if we could all find hubbies like that. *I mean when it is the right time* Hehee!

SO glad you had an awesome trip-and I know what you mean by people staring–so happy you shared to him about our world!! :o)

Will you be making business cards, too? I think it’s such a great idea!!


38 VeggieGirl November 10, 2008 at 7:59 am




39 Juliet November 10, 2008 at 7:59 am

Love the video! Thanks so much for sharing. :)


40 Mariposa November 10, 2008 at 8:41 am

looks like the trip was a GREAT success! glad you made it home safe and sound to WARMER weather! must be nice to still have 60 degree weather!!!


41 Meghann November 10, 2008 at 8:45 am

I’m glad you had a good trip to Chicago! It was so cold and windy… I feel like I still haven’t warmed up!! I’m sorry I missed the reader meet-up at Panera yesterday :( We were on a tight schedule and needed to get some authentic Chicago pizza before our drive home! Good luck with the oatmeal contest- can’t wait to see your entry!!


42 Rose November 10, 2008 at 9:16 am

Wow! What an AMAZING weekend you and Jenna and the rest of the Quaker crew had! I loved the video – very nice touch. My work is thinking about getting me a flip video – so it was nice to see the way this turned out :) The quality is not too bad!

It looks like you both had a great time! Hope you got some rest last night!


43 Kath November 10, 2008 at 9:34 am

Molly ,
No idea if they cared – I just went through really quickly.

Julia ,
I’m not the best person to ask about cold runs – it never gets much below freezing here in NC. Perhaps some of the New Englanders have some advice?

Megan ,
Thanks for your first comment!!

Dave Grotto, RD,
Wonderful to meet you as well!!! Wish we could have chatted longer about the nutrition industry. Your talk was great – can’t wait to read your book in the coming weeks :)

Charlie Hills,
5’2″! They thought I’d only make it to 4’10” but I drank lots of milk as a youngin’

Re. Pumpkin Bar Recipe,
Let’s hope Anne reads this and shares it :)

seelee live (for the love of peanut butter),
I already have business cards :) I had them made for BlogHer. They are super cheap to make. I don’t pass them out too often because they’re always at the bottom of my purse and hard to get to.



44 Katie November 10, 2008 at 9:47 am

LOL @ the movie! Looks like you had a blast this weekend!


45 Megan November 10, 2008 at 10:16 am

What a fabulous post full of food and fun! I love the video. I hope you win…that would be awesome to attend!


46 Becky November 10, 2008 at 10:47 am

hey Kath!
Your video is so cute! it looks like you guys had a blast!
Where ever did your reader find that pumpkin bark?? i MUST have some!!

Good Luck with the oatmeal challenge, I’m sure you’ll come up with something awesome, as always :-)


47 Nadine November 10, 2008 at 11:12 am

Hey Kath…I’m a fellow CKer lured to your blog after the Shape article. You do so much for so many, thank you. Ok, so — at 610 calories for breakfast, how many total calories in a day does one get?


48 runjess November 10, 2008 at 11:54 am

That vegetarian loaf looks scary and yummy at the same time–a difficult combo to pull off.


49 Catch Up Lady November 10, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Whoeeee! Way to go with the ketchup and thanks for the shout out!

You have also inspired me – I had oatmeal for breakfast for the third day in a row today. I got creative with the toppings (by my measure) and added a bunch of fruit. It was so great, I totally get what Steph meant with her comment “Oatmeal is a blank canvas.” It tasted much different from the straight up brown sugar route, and I see how you can really change the flavor.

I’m going to check out your Tribute Page and then hit the grocery store. Stay tuned for deets. 😉


50 Angie November 10, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Great video! Thanks so much for sharing that. It was absolutely the highlight of my weekend to meet the two of you. Glad you were able to get to Whole Foods on your way out and I’m happy to see you made it home safe and sound.


51 Jessica November 10, 2008 at 5:06 pm

I loved, loved, loved your video – thanks for creating it. I’m glad yo uahd such a fab time in Chicago and I hope you win the Oatmeal Challenge. It’s about time for another Durham blogger’s meetup :o)


52 Kath November 10, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Becky ,
Whole Foods!

Nadine ,
Welcome to KERF :) The 610 kcal fact wasn’t in a daily amount context, but my guess would be that was based on a 2,000 kcal diet. So if you’re goal is a little less, make your breakfast about the same percentage.

Catch Up Lady,
Yay for oatmeal and ketchup!! I don’t think I’d ever combine the two, but I bet you’d like it!! Perhaps with an egg on top as well like the Sunny Side Oats?

Angie ,
Wonderful to meet you as well :)

Jessica ,
To the tune of the famous song: I’ll be home for Christ-mas.



53 Erin November 10, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Yayy looks so fun. I thought the video game part was really funny because it’s something I would say in a situation like that hahaha. Yay for Country gals in the City!

Thanks for the video!


54 Tracey C. November 10, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Tea Gschwendner! We miss you so. Sounds like a fabulous trip all around.

-A couple of transplanted Chicagoans.


55 Jeff Heard November 10, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Hey, Kath!

The tea caught my eye… Tea Gschwendner has some of the most wonderful things. In particular, try

Kashmir Chai
Kashmir Khali Kahwa
Midsummer Night’s Dream
O’Connor’s Cream (this tastes like irish cream, but includes nothing of the sort — rather it has cocoa nibs and vanilla bean and other such things)
Rooibos Creme Caramel
Le Touareg (use quickly, the flavor fades fast!)


Late Summer Love.

I can’t pick a favorite of those. Depends on the season. Right now, I’m drinking the Kashmir Khali Kahwa and the Creme Caramel most.


56 HangryPants November 10, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Well, I have a lot of catching up to do. I like your new header and loooove the video! You and Jenna are adorable and I love how you say the word oats. It sounds so dignified! I also like the video game reference.



57 Kath November 10, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Jeff Heard,
Thanks for all the tea recs!

HangryPants ,
I really say oats funny!?!? Hilarious!



58 Sammy November 11, 2008 at 1:16 am

Hey! I loved that video, it looks like you guys had an awesome time. I could not believe the salad spread at Whole Foods haha…… some day I hope to go to one :)


59 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) November 11, 2008 at 7:48 am

Glad you had such a great time!


60 debby schnabel November 11, 2008 at 11:20 am

I am going nuts trying to find the recipe for Anne’s pumpkin chocolate bars. Do you have it or know where I can get it? I suspect I am also attracted to them because of the chocolate chunks, but I still want to try them!



61 Kath November 11, 2008 at 11:25 am

debby schnabel,
I posted it last night.



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