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Sunlit ‘Zona Dinners

Posted Aug 22 2011 12:39pm

Hello from Arizona!

I’m here visiting my family for a long weekend, a weekend that involved many adventures, including the threat of a dust storm, two rounds of golf and a visit from this feline friend on our deck this morning.

She looks like she is contemplating life, doesn’t she? Or maybe I’m naive and she is looking at food. :)

Speaking of which, we have been cooking up a storm in the “Bender” household. The first night I arrived, Mama Bender pulled together another round of deliciously stuffed pork chops !

These tasted just as phenomenal as last time , with blue cheese oozing out of the middle.

She also served up her garlic and Parmesan asparagus with mashed potatoes. Way to go, Mama B.

Friday night was pizza night, as per usual, but in recent weeks my family has decided to forgo restaurant versions in favor of homemade crust and chopped veggies. A great plan for so many reasons!

Our Whole Foods mini whole wheat pizzas were topped with tomato sauce, grass-fed ground beef, mushrooms, olives and red peppers, then sprinkled with four types of cheese: Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Asiago and Parmesan.

Baked at 500 degrees for 10-12 minutes for a crispier crust. These came out perfect!

Homemade pizza trumps restaurant pizza every single time.

The next night it was Papa Bender’s turn to step up to the (cooking) plate.

He made us Cornish hens on the grill, rubbed with a plethora of good spices (rosemary included).

On the side he served up corn and black beans.

Papa Bender struck again last night – this time with surf instead of turf!

A combination of grilled lobster tail and calamari…

…served with a corn and red pepper succotash.

Only time will tell what tonight’s dinner will be, but it promises to be wonderful. I am loving how much both of my parents have embraced healthy meals and cooking in recent months. As you know, Papa Bender has long been the main chef, but Mama B. seems to be enjoying it more and more. It’s great!

What were some of the highlights from your weekend?

I’ve truly enjoyed reading all the recaps from Healthy Living Summit . It was so much fun to attend in Chicago last year and I wish I could have been there this time around, too. No surprise that Meghann planned and executed an absolute success – congrats!


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