Tucson Part I: Eatin’ With Gina

April 11, 2013

With a baby in tow, we arrived in Tucson a day before the Great Harvest Convention began so we had time to adjust to the new time zone and settle in before getting down to business.


Oh who am I kidding – we just wanted more pool time!


We stayed at Loews Ventana Canyon and had a wonderful time. They really know food!

After my awesome morning at Canyon Ranch, we explored the resort grounds a bit before Gina came to pick us up for dinner at her house. We were so thankful to be able to spend a relaxing evening with Gina, Tom and Olivia, especially because our East Coast baby had an unpredictable bedtime.


Mazen and Liv had a great time smiling at each other : )


Is it just me or do these guys look a little alike!?



Gina prepared a wonderful spread of cheese, crackers and hummus


And we brought some wine to sip


Mazen enjoyed avocado and sweet potato in Liv’s high chair (we have the same one at home!)


And the adults were served orange salmon, whipped sweet potatoes and an amazing salad with strawberries and mint.


More details on the food (including the dessert recipe!) on Gina’s post. It was all incredible!


We ended the meal with Gina’s famous pizookie recipe served with coconut ice cream. I loved the pizookie’s texture – we coined it “cookie granola.”


Speaking of Gina favorites, one of my favorite parts of getting together at bloggers’ houses is trying the foods you see them make all the time. When I visited Jenna, I couldn’t wait to have a green smoothie on her hardwood floors, Emily made me her steel cut rice cooker oatmeal, and this visit to Gina’s house had me lusting after her cookie dough cereal. After a discussion on how to make it, Gina hooked me up with a to-go container to have some for breakfast the next day.


She mixed oats and a huge glob of sunflower butter in with Sunwarrior, stevia, chocolate chips until the sunflower butter formed chunks of “dough.” Sort of like making butter peas when mixing a pie crust dough.

I sliced half a banana on top and poured on cold almond milk in the morning.


The verdict? Absolutely LOVED this!!! The texture was incredible! Loved the chunks of sunflower “cookie dough” and also the cereal + milk aspect. Perfect summertime breakfast.


Wait till you see the brunch we had next!

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claire @ Keeping Up With Claire April 11, 2013 at 8:25 am

I cannot get over the cuteness that is Mazen and Olivia together. I’ve been reading both of your blogs for a while and seeing your two adorable babies together is too much to handle!


2 Nina @ Too Hottie For That Body April 11, 2013 at 8:29 am

Cookie dough cereal?! You had me at cookie. I just recently found Gina’s blog and I giggled out loud when I saw the two of you together. (I’m such a dork.) It looked like you guys had a blast! Arizona is definitely going on my places to visit list.


3 Carly @ Snack Therapy April 11, 2013 at 8:39 am

Mazen and Liv make a very cute couple : ). I always think about how fun it would be to eat bloggers’ “specialties” with them. Geez, we bloggers are so weird.


4 Lindsey @ Pas de Deux April 11, 2013 at 8:43 am

Looks like such a fun visit! I love how meeting other bloggers in person means getting to taste their “signature” dishes! The dinner was lovely, and that cookie dough cereal looks so good–I will have to try it soon.


5 Tara April 11, 2013 at 9:03 am

Tuscan weather looks great! So cute to see Mazen and Liv together.


6 Sarah April 11, 2013 at 9:07 am

My boss just got home from the GH convention. Just in time for a blizzard to hit MN today!


7 KathEats April 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

Fun! Which city?


8 Sarah April 11, 2013 at 10:09 am

Woodbury and our Stillwater store just opened the beginning of the year.


9 Lindsay April 11, 2013 at 9:11 am

Gosh, I just cannot get over how beautiful your pictures are. My grandparents used to live in AZ and this photos bring back great memories!


10 Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food April 11, 2013 at 9:17 am

So fun getting to hang with them! Amazing food. And I just want to pinch M’s cheek. LOVE!


11 Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 9:21 am

That is such a great Idea to make the peanut butter balls. Just reading about your morning cereal made my mouth water! I am going to try this lunch!


12 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries April 11, 2013 at 9:47 am

Sounds like a great time! You guys got some wonderful photos of you all. :) I am a huge fan of Gina’s cookie dough cereal! I just discovered it about a month ago, and it’s a new favorite.


13 Claire @ Health Nut Claire April 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

Haha this post is somewhat ironic because I was in Charlottesville for the half and full marathon and I got to eat a few things I see on here all the time! Loved Cville!


14 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More April 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

YUM!! Looks like some great eats at Ginas. I always love having blogger friends to visit all over the country. :)


15 Ashli - The Sweat Revolution April 11, 2013 at 10:53 am

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such rosy cheeks on a baby – Adorable! And that cookie dough cereal will be in my belly ASAP!


16 Tracy April 11, 2013 at 10:56 am

That’s so nice that Gina gave you something for the next day’s breakfast. What a considerate hostess


17 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

I love the pics of you both and holding your babies. It’s amazing thinking back to a few years ago…and how much life changes!

That cookie dough cereal with SFSButter looks like the ticket! Yum! :)


18 Kelly April 11, 2013 at 11:27 am

Hi, Kath! I love seeing your family together, and now that you’re not posting as often, I miss hearing about Karen. :) How is she doing, health-wise? She looks healthy and vibrant as always in these shots!


19 KathEats April 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm

She’s great! Thanks for asking


20 Kelly April 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I just realized you don’t have any shots of her in this post…it was Gina’s post! At any rate, I’m so glad to hear she’s doing well. She always seems like a fun gal to be around. :)


21 Karen April 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Hi, Kelly. Thanks for asking I’m doing great. We’re pretty sure we beat the cancer. In any case I realize how important it is for me to live life to the fullest.
Stop in the bakery and visit us if you’re ever in the area. Karen


22 Liz April 11, 2013 at 11:38 am

Mazen’s cheeeeeeeeks!!!!!


23 Kat @ Kat's Health Corner April 11, 2013 at 11:53 am

As if my stomach wasn’t already grumbling for lunch…
Love the pictures of Maze! I can’t get over those rosy cheeks!


24 Emily @ Life on Food April 11, 2013 at 11:58 am

Cookie Dough cereal! And that dinner looks fabulous. What a meal on vacation and it wasn’t even in a restaurant. Don’t you wish you had friends in every town you visit?


25 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! April 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I’ve got to try that cookie dough cereal. I always see everyone making it but never really realized how it got its name before! I always thought it was just oats in milk….but the nut butter would definitely add some great texture!


26 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Sounds like the perfect way to start that trip! Nothing better than a great night with friends!


27 Deb @ Dietitian Debbie Dishes April 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Both of you have such adorable families! I definitely need to try that cookie dough cereal ASAP!


28 Sonia the Mexigarian April 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Aw, so sweet seeing you two together and the kids as well :) The food spread looks so good.


29 Erin @ The Grass Skirt April 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I’m with everyone on Mazen’s adorable rosy cheeks. Too cute!


30 Sara @ fitcupcaker April 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm

those oats do look amazing. What a wonderful time!


31 [email protected] April 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm

All looks amazing! I’d have to try your whipped oats if I ever had the chance to visit..heck I think even as a vegan I’d be persuaded/tempted to try your French toast it looks so good! :)


32 Jane @ Not Plain So Jane April 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Fun times! That cereal looks delicious!


33 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats April 11, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Oh my gosh I would love to travel around to different bloggers’ homes and try their recipes cooked by them! I feel like it’s never quite the same when you do it yourself!


34 Jennifer G April 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm

It may be that arizona sun, but i bet he’s teething! My girl always got extra rosy cheeks when she was teething! He’s such a cutie, how neat you all got to travel and enjoy some sunshine and swimming!


35 KathEats April 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

He is! 1.5 teeth so far. I couldn’t figure out why his cheeks kept randomly flushing hot pink. Also lots of Chap from the desert : (


36 Emily April 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Oh my! That cereal is a must try!!!
Loving Gina’s blog too now! Both of you are awesome :)


37 Lizzie April 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm

“Is it just me or do these guys look a little alike!?”

I wouldn’t have made the connection, they seem very different – but now that you mentioned it, their noses are very similar 😉


38 zoe @ loseweightandgainhealth April 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm

NZ Sauv Blanc – my favourite white wine


39 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning April 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Oooh I must make that cookie dough cereal.. I bet it would be FANTASTIC over vanilla ice cream…


40 BroccoliHut April 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Wow, what a feast!! I’ll take one of everything on that dinner plate :)
And you’re right–Matt and Tom do look oddly alike!


41 Maria Tadic April 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Looks like you had a great time! That cookie dough cereal looks awesome! Can’t wait to find her recipe!


42 Lisa @bitesforbabies April 11, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Looks like you had a great time! Don’t you just love when babies recognize other babies?! Too cute!


43 Sara Lake April 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Nice to see you are a fan of kiwi wines! That’s a good one, definitely a favourite around here.


44 Kelly April 11, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Woo hoo New Zealand wine, makes me miss home just seeing it!! What did you think?


45 Maxine April 12, 2013 at 5:53 am

You have such an adorable family, looks like a great time :)


46 Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) April 12, 2013 at 6:53 am

It’s so nice to have caring friends who just so happen to be foodies as well…looks like a grand time! 😀


47 Liz @ iheartvegetables April 12, 2013 at 6:55 am

Oh wow! That looks like so much fun! And I’m sure all the food was AMAZING!


48 Susan H @ The Food Allergy Chronicles April 12, 2013 at 7:37 am

Yum…orange salmon…must try! :)


49 Kristi April 12, 2013 at 8:01 am

I hope you’ll post some more details about flying with baby and adjusting to the time difference. I’m making the same trip in a month sans husband and am pretty nervous!!!


50 KathEats April 12, 2013 at 8:34 am

The flights were not that bad, but the time zone changes have been awful!!


51 Alexandra @ Delicious Knowledge April 12, 2013 at 12:16 pm

What a fun looking weekend! I love meeting up with other bloggers, the best part of being in this community! Looks delicious.


52 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs April 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Mazen & Olivia together — too cute!!


53 Lindsay April 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I can’t wait to check out Gina’s blog next:) Looks like you all had a lovely time, it is good to see Mazen traveling, smiling, and spreading a bit more joy wherever he goes. You look lovely, and I can’t wait to whip up some of that granola!!


54 [email protected] April 16, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Yum! Can’t wait to try the cookie dough cereal!!!


55 Jo April 16, 2013 at 11:13 pm

YUM Oyster Bay wine!! It’s from where I live! New Zealand :)
I might have to try that cookie dough cereal as well, looks delish!


56 phoebe April 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Do you think it would work if I poured the milk on the cookie dough cereal the night before? Or would that make the oats too soggy? I’m a bit scared of trying raw oats! :)


57 KathEats April 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I think they would be a little bit too soggy – unless you’re going for an Overnight Oats effect!


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