Dessert/ Dinner

A Southern Fall




Go ahead. Say that you hate me. I know its coming. πŸ˜‰ I ended up going to the beach for a little while this afternoon and reading…but a storm was blowing in and I didn’t get to stay for too long. For the record, I DO wish we had more seasons down here! I would love nothing more than to prance around in cute jcrew sweaters and toast marshmallows (homemade, of course!) by the fire. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side!

After my beach trip I snacked on, you guessed it, another slice of my banana bread. This time with almond butter and jam. My lunch didn’t fill me up at all today for some reason!


I then went to the bookstore and spent money I don’t have on yet another book. It’s called Sarah’s Key and I just could not not buy it. It looked way too good. I was hooked after reading the first three pages! I have to finish another book before I start it (I’m reading On Mystic Lake right now and I can’t put it down) but I can’t wait!

I’d say it was a pretty successful day off. Did all the important things—-baked, worked out, went to the beach and to the bookstore. Cap it off with a good homemade dinner, wine and a bubble bath and I’m set. Wow, the life I lead. I swear I’m 23, not 73. Who knew.

Anyways, for dinner I was craving red meat for some reason. I rarely eat red meat as most of yall know if you have been following my blog.Β  It’s just not my thing and I would never order it out. But tonight my body wanted it to I bought myself a 5 oz portion of filet mignon (had the butcher at Publix size it down for me) and I feasted. Whenever I cook steak for myself, which has only been like 5 times in my life, I always broil it. It’s fast. It’s easy. It requires minimal cooking knowledge and effort. I did take meat fabrication class at school so while I am able to do fancy things withΒ  meat, I just prefer to take the easy way out.

Tonight I salt and peppered my steak and broiled it on high for about 6 minutes per side. Then I topped it with a spoonful of goat cheese and broiled it again for another minute. It turned out really good actually! I also had my faaaavorite roasted brussels sprouts (rub with evoo, salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes at 400) and a baked sweet potato.


I really like the cheese/steak combo. A little goat cheese goes a loong way and the flavor is fab. When I lived in Charleston there was this restaurant that had filet mignon topped with housemade pimento cheese, and let me just tell you, I’m not a huge meat eater but it was heaven on earth. I can still taste it. Amazing.Β  Like I said, I don’t eat steak very often…but when I do, I do it right. Haha πŸ™‚

I also had a glass of my pinot noir—I think the Mirassou might be a new favorite! You guys should definitely check it out….I am pretty sure its under $10 too!

And dessert was a vanilla yogurt with chocolate chips:


So, tomorrow, Adam is taking a day off! That means it is just yours truly working as sole pastry chef all day long! Adam told me he is leaving me a list to do and I’m also bringing a recipe I want to test for…….carrot cake sandwich cookies! I’m really into sandwich cookies as of late if you couldn’t already tell. πŸ˜‰Β  I really really really pray things go smoothly tomorrow and there’s no horrible incidents to report. Wish me luck!

I’m off to take my bath and read!

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  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)
    October 8, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    I’m sure you’ll do great tomorrow!

  • VeggieGirl
    October 8, 2008 at 11:38 pm


    Oooh, have lots of fun/good luck with baking tomorrow!!

  • Amy
    October 8, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Good luck flying solo tomorrow—I’m sure you’ll do an awesome job! Your banana bread from earlier today looks fab! As does the rest of your meals (as always). Seems like you had a nice day, enjoy the rest of your night πŸ˜€

  • Jim
    October 8, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Hey what restaurant in Charleston are you talking about? I live downtown now. I would love to know!

  • jenna
    October 8, 2008 at 11:55 pm


    Magnolias on East Bay Street. You must go there pronto. πŸ™‚

  • Christie
    October 9, 2008 at 12:04 am

    If your 70 I am right there with you.. people always tell me I am an old spirit!

  • Becca A
    October 9, 2008 at 12:05 am

    You’ll do great tomorrow! Its awesome he already has that much trust in you!

  • JLO
    October 9, 2008 at 12:09 am

    FYI, I made these and they were a HUGE hit. The cookies were a bit soft, which was fine with me, and I used my own frosting recipe which is 8oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pound of powdered sugar (rather than 1 cup).

  • Erin
    October 9, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Good luck tomorrow!
    Your dinner looks awesome. I love steak.

  • jenna
    October 9, 2008 at 12:29 am


    That’s the recipe I printed out to bring with me tomorrow~ I’ve made these before and they are AWESOME!

  • Fancy
    October 9, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Jenna, you will have to let us know what your schedule is for when you come to Chicago…I know you said you are waiting on it. It would be so much fun for all of us to get together, even just for coffee or something like you said. I already sent Lara my email address! πŸ™‚

  • bee
    October 9, 2008 at 12:39 am

    good luck tomorrow (not that you need it!). i just know that whenever i am left in charge of the kitchen at work i get extremely nervous, but you just have to work through it!

  • hk
    October 9, 2008 at 12:55 am

    mmm all looks great! banana bread w/ almond butter, totally my fav combo! good luck tomorrow, so exciting πŸ™‚

    love the view of the beach and waves, perfection πŸ™‚

  • HangryPants
    October 9, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Beautiful pictures! I like that you relax when you have time off! Not everyone wants to be dancing on bars … all the time. πŸ˜€

  • coco
    October 9, 2008 at 1:12 am

    hi Everyone! I just begin writing a blog too. Hope you visit it soon!

  • Megan
    October 9, 2008 at 1:21 am

    I don’t hate you…I just hate that I didn’t get to enjoy that beautiful view.

    Can’t wait to see how the sandwich cookies turn out tomorrow!

  • Sammie
    October 9, 2008 at 1:32 am

    You will be awesome tomorrow – look at all the yummies you whip up on your own – good luck!!!

  • Shelby
    October 9, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Um yeah, I do hate you! Just kidding but I am really jealous! I can’t believe I have to move back to Illinois and cold weather (I live in AZ now) =(

    Mmm, brussels sprouts! I like mine roasted in the oven too.

  • Little Black Dress
    October 9, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Jenna, you are such a great role model! Good for you for listening to your body!

  • Runjen
    October 9, 2008 at 2:25 am

    I don’t hate you but am insanely jeal of your view. Good luck tomorrow. Can’t wait to hear the deets!

  • Maureen
    October 9, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Yum, your dinner sounds so perfect. Another great combo (my favorite,) is putting gorgonzola on filet mignon…divine!

    Enjoy your night!

  • chirunner
    October 9, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Hey Jenna,

    I have been following your blog for a while now and decided to write today (I wrote on Kath’s blog wall as well!) Just wanted to offer a hand if you need any directions, restaurant ideas, wine bars, etc. while in Chicago. I’d love to help you out if you need. Also, thank you for all of your hard work!

  • Alyssa
    October 9, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Well, we have beautiful fall-colored trees here, so there! J/k, he ocean view is beautiful! You will be great tomorrow, you know you will be!

  • rhodeygirl
    October 9, 2008 at 11:52 am

    good luck tomorrow (well, today haha!). and yes, i hate you for having that gorgeous weather and beach!!! lucky lady!

  • Bridget
    October 9, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I am so envious of your entire day!! Yes I love the fall season, but I wouldn’t mind going to the beach right now. The banana bread looks awesome, I’m with you on prefering less sweet banana breads! And if you’re going to splurge on steak you definintely need to do it up right:)

    Any chance of getting that olive focaccia recipe??!?!?!?

  • Meghan
    October 9, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I’m not too jealous, but maybe that’s because I’m in Savannah! It’s fall-esque but still about 80-90 degrees! (Is that possible!?)
    Are you and Ryan gonna be able to see each other at all over these next few months?

  • caitlin (Seebriderun)
    October 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    your pictures look fabulous! and that’s awesome adam trusts you to run the show alone.

    we’re going out to dinner tonight and i just wanted to say i’ll miss you!!!

  • Beadie
    October 9, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Beautiful pics!

    I also don’t eat red meat unless I am craving it. I have low blood iron and that is the fastest way to make it normal again. I should probably eat it more but I don’t think of it unless I have a cravings. Have you tried buffaloe/bison? It is little healthier and tastes better.

  • emily
    October 9, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I like all of my veggies best roasted, but brussel sprouts are my absolute favorite! I’m not sure I’ve seen it on your blog, if you haven’t tried roasted cauliflower yet I think you’d like it.

  • Teddy
    October 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    I’m sure you’ll be fabulous on your own today!
    does this mean you get to play head chef for the day? haha


  • zenfreckle
    October 9, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I’m older than you..but not by much and I think your day off sounds perfect! Of course, I don’t live near the ocean so my nature meanderings are more like a stream in a park but the baking, bookshelf, workout, good food and a bath are all number one in my relaxation book!

    I have been reading your blog for almost a year but have never commented before. I guess I felt it was time to say that I think you are great!
    Good luck in the kitchen today!

  • healthyceliac
    October 9, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Beautiful pictures! A southern fall is definitely something that this northern gal is jealous of.

    Good luck baking on your own today. That’s so exciting!!

  • J
    October 9, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I thought you gave up meat for animal cruelty reasons?

  • runjess
    October 9, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I think it’s good to get a little red meat now and then. Great source of iron.

  • monica
    October 9, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I heart roasted brussel sprouts!!

  • courtney
    October 9, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I tried the banana bread recipe, it was fabulous!! thank you so much for that. I don’t know if anyone has already asked this, but do you think you’ll ever go back to vegetarianism?

  • sherzy
    October 9, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    I love Mirassou Pinot Noir too – its one of my favorite “bargain” wines.

  • a reader
    October 9, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I read your blog every day and really enjoy it. I was wondering what your thoughts are on metabolism. I note what you eat, the foods and the amount, and how much you exercise. And you maintain, what, 120-125 lbs? I used to be heavy but lost a lot of weight almost ten years ago (I’m 40). I exercise regularly (I run 5-6 days a week, usually 4 mile runs) and I eat very, very healthfully. I’ve become a bit zealous about avoiding processed foods and junk. I eat tons of fresh veggies and fruits, healthy grains, lots of protein. I’m not a big sweets person, but indulge in a little dark chocolate when I need a fix. I drink moderate amounts of red wine. When I look at your blog, I really think we’re doing the same things! The difference is that although I’m at a pretty healthy weight (140 lbs), I feel much better at 130 lbs (anything lower than that is impossible for me). I’m 5′ 6″ by the way. But to get to 130 (and I have been there, many times, but never seem to be able to stay) I have to eat in the neighborhood of 1000-1300 calories a day. More than that and I rebound right back. I really want to get to 130, I feel so much fitter and better there, but I think my metabolism is just too slow. If I consume the calories you do, I will never get below 140. It’s so frustrating. So my question is, do you believe some people can do all the right things in terms of eating right and exercise but still not get to their desired weight? I mean, 130 is really not too light for my height, but I feel as if my metabolism is slow as molasses and just won’t let me get and stay there. Thoughts? Thanks!

  • shawna
    October 9, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Wow, what a great, great view you have there! When it’s as gray as can be here with dirty, grimy snow and 20 degree cold, I’ll trade!! I don’t think I’d trade today’s beautiful fall weather, though – 65 degrees, sunny and the leaves are starting to change into their bright colors!

    Can’t wait to see pics of your sandwich cookies πŸ™‚

  • NJ
    October 9, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    a reader…

    I’m not trying to answer for Jenna but felt compelled to share with you my two cents.

    I think you need to find out what it is that is preventing you from being a happy, healthy individual instead of trying to reach a number on a scale that you admit takes less than a reccommended amount of calories to get to. You are a wonderful person worthy of caring about yourself for who you are. This life is much too short to be a slave to any number. You sound like you are living a healthy lifestyle and doing a great job.

    Again just my two cents.

  • a reader
    October 9, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks, NJ. I appreciate your input and thank you for taking the time to answer me. Actually, I am a happy, healthy individual. I am not obsessed by the number 130, I just find that when I am closer to 130 instead of 140 I feel better—physically as well as other ways. Running is easier, for example. I feel fitter. It seems as if that is a good place for my body to be, which is why I’m frustrated by my inability to get and stay there–and that’s why I asked the question. So many times we hear “do x, y, and z and you’ll lose weight” but I wonder if there is only so much control we have over it. One cookie cutter plan doesn’t apply to all, I guess. It seems like you can do x, y, and z but if your metabolism and genetics are working against you, maybe it won’t work. I know Jenna has some professional training in the area of nutrition and all, so I was just looking for her input. Thanks for your concern, but believe me, I live a full and satisfying life πŸ™‚

  • anon-o-mouse
    October 9, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    A 40 year old’s metabolism is not the same as a 20 something metabolism. I know…cause I am 40. It changed.

  • jenna
    October 9, 2008 at 7:46 pm


    Sadly I can’t give out the focaccia recipe!! It’s a standard bread for the club and sort of a “secret recipe” that the chefs don’t want on the web. Sorry!!!!


    We are trying to work out a weekend now that Ryan will come to visit and I also am going home for a night before I go to Chicago next month! It stinks being 2 1/2 hours apart rather than 1 hour now… πŸ™


    I refrained from eating meat for about 3 months but am most happiest when I eat anything I want in moderation. I’ve found what works best for me!


    No I don’t think I will. I’m such a foodie and don’t want to hinder myself from trying anything and everything in the food world, traveling and my future career. I applaud vegetarians but I could never do it long term! I think what works for me is everything in moderation.

    A reader,

    I understand your issues but I think one thing to remember is everyone has very different metabolisms. I have a SUPER fast metabolism and, for a large part of my life, have been underweight (I’m not anymore—this was in middle and high school). If I don’t watch what I eat and how much I eat, I will start to lose weight and muscle. Sometimes I have to eat an extra snack even when I’m not hungry because I don’t want to lose all the muscle I’ve worked so hard for! I believe that every “body” has a weight that they are most comfortable with. You will fluctuate a few pounds here and there, but ultimately stay around that weight. Your body is comfortable with that weight! I wish I could just tell you to stay away from the cookies and you will lose ten pounds (haha), but sometimes that doesn’t work. The extra 10 pounds you are talking about might even be muscle, which weighs more than fat anyways! I mean YOU think that 130 is your “desired weight” but its obvious your body does not and it likes being 140. If you are at a healthy weight, work out and eat right, does the extra 10 pounds really matter so much? I’m a believer that every one should learn to love and appreciate their body rather than letting it become stressful. I’m sorry not to be able to give you a better answer but that’s just my two cents. If you want more, you should seek out an RD in your area!

  • Jena
    October 9, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    In response to a reader’s comments and to your comments to her:

    I agree with you that everyone has a different metabolism and a different set point for their body. However, you have shown us pictures of you from college when you were heavier than you are now. I find it confusing to hear from you that you are a naturally underweight person, but then to see that you were at a heavier weight than you are now. I just feel like your explanation for being thin never adds up.

    Also, I understand that you are a foodie and therefore you won’t be a vegetarian anymore. However, this argument really sits badly with me because being a vegetarian is about being for animal rights. By saying that you tried vegetarianism but it wasn’t for you because you wanted to eat more stuff is really unfair to vegetarians/vegans. It’s not about diet, it’s about animal rights.

  • jenna
    October 9, 2008 at 9:09 pm


    Thanks for your comment. If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know that I have gone into depth on how I weight through a 10-15 pound weight gain my 1st and 2nd years of college due to partying and drinking too much. I lost it quickly when I was a senior, got a job and settled back down to my normal routine. So, yes, for two years out of my 23 years I gained weight. I’m sorry you don’t feel like my explanation adds up about that or my choice to be an omnivore but I really don’t have to justify my life choices. I have reasons and that should be enough. If it works for me that’s fine because it’s my life and no one else’s. Sorry you feel that way!

  • Kelsey
    October 10, 2008 at 2:12 am

    I LOVE OIKOS!!! I had a coupon and used it, and well, I don’t think I can live without it. Hooray for greek yogurt goodness.
    As for steak, I agree totally! I never have steak, but the only time I ever do it’s because my body needs it. It’s such a weird feeling too, but, I gotta listen to what my body needs!

  • a reader
    October 10, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    First, thanks to Jenna and the others for responding to my questions. Second, wow, Jena, that was harsh. I have never been able to understand the point of unpleasant comments—if you don’t like her, or what she says, or what she eats….don’t read her blog! Sorry that my queries and Jenna’s answers somehow got rolled into that negative response. I also feel very strongly about people making their own choices and decisions in life, and Jenna’s choices about eating meat are solely her own. No need to be rude to someone who is so consistently helpful and nice!