Behind The Butter/ Breakfast/ Dessert/ Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness

All About The Food


Sorry for the lack of post last night…..I got home around 11:15 and quite literally, fell into my bed. Last night was craaazy!

But first, I did do 60 minutes of power yoga (via Dave Farmar!) before I left yesterday afternoon. Really, the only posture that bothered my ankle was warrior one so I modified that and was fine. It was really really really good to stretch and break a sweat. Must.exercise.asap. ๐Ÿ˜‰

No snack because lunch was so large and around 6:00, I headed over to a friend’s house for dinner! There were 12 of us there and it was like foodie heaven. Seriously. Every one of us ADORES food and wine and all we did for the next five hours was eat amazing food, drink wine and talk about more food…the whole time. I think I’ve come home.

Watched another beautiful California sunset—


Sipped on some Viognier—


Now this is what I’d call an amazing spread of appetizers:


Pate (which I discovered I actually LIKE??! Who am I?!), salumi, fresh local goat cheese, fresh whole wheat and sourdough bread, triple cream Italian butter and two other delicious specialty cheeses. Ahhhhhh

Naturally, the wine flowed as well:


I fell in love with this one:


And also an ’85 Petite Syrah/Syrah blend, which was FABULOUS and changed my opinion on the entire varietal. It was my birthday wine after all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve found the best method when put in a situation with 15 bottles of wine is to only pour one ounce pours for yourself. That way you can enjoy many different kinds and not end up drinking, oh say 9 glasses of wine. That would not be good. I must have tried at least seven or eight different wines last night and felt good the whole time with one ounce rule. And then there was champagne with dessert….and sauvignon blanc with cheese….but that’s another story.

Anyways, dinner was nothing short of spectacular!


From 11:00: fish stew, brussels sprouts with bacon and white beans, small piece of lamb, whole wheat bread, salad.

Everything was local….the lettuce had actually just been picked yesterday morning from the garden! How crazy is that?! And it was so good…..I actually hated lamb (or thought I did) before last night but this didn’t taste like any lamb I’ve ever had, in terms of being really super gamey. This lamb actually had a bit of sweetness to it and tasted more like steak. So now counting four things I had previously despised before moving to Sonoma county: duck, lamb, pate, syrah. Wheeewww! Next up to try again is foie gras, which I had tried at a Paris farmer’s market and thought was the grossest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. It’s been two years though and I’m prepared to give it a second chance!

Dessert was a sliver of rustic apple pie from a local bakery in town, paired with a splash of champagne, a tiny bit of cheese and the tiniest taste of apple brandy. whoaaa


I’m not kidding when I tell you ALL we talked about for FIVE hours was food. I’ve always been the craziest foodie amongst all my friends on the east coast so you can’t imagine my excitement when I am finally paired with people that can match my gastronomical enthusiasm! And then, Doug and Susan sent me home with cookbooks!


Ahhh Alice Waters and Patricia Wells. Awesome.

Needless to say, I was in total food coma state upon getting home and it was all I could do to wash my face, take out contact, brush teeth and fall into bed. This morning I resumed some order to my life with the typical oatmeal:


So yeahhh….I’m really trying NOT to think that right now I would be probably on mile 10 of my half marathon. Makes my heart hurt. However, I’m so thankful for such a great weekend filled with new friends in a place I love. I’ve been able to stay busy so I haven’t had time to have a pity party about my ankle, which is good.

Today my plans are to do more yoga, finish hanging all my pictures, run errands and relax. I feel like I’m finally settling in here, which is great. Can you believe this is the first time I’ve ever had my own place?! It feels so odd (and awesome at the same time) to have my own space and to be able to do whatever I want.

See you in a bit!

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  • Jenna
    October 18, 2009 at 8:55 am

    glad you had a great night and you finally feel settled in at home ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee)
    October 18, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Your foodie gathering sounds like a blast! I love when I get together with friends and we can talk food. I have never had pate before ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  • Madeline @ Greens and Jeans
    October 18, 2009 at 9:01 am

    there will be MANY more half marathons that you can run in the future! your california adventure has been amazing thus far (well, besides the ankle!) and kudos to you for focusing on these positive things!

  • Ania @ DoubleScooped
    October 18, 2009 at 9:04 am


    I can so relate with you! I just moved into my very own new place as well! It is such a AMAZING feeling! : )

    Happy to hear you are loving California – your pics have been great – especially this morning’s sunset! Speechless!

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels
    October 18, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Yes I love trading cookbooks! Looks like you ate as much as I did at my dinner party last night.

  • Kristen @ Simply Savor
    October 18, 2009 at 9:24 am

    sounds like california is becoming home! how great that you’ve already surrounded yourself with amazing new and old friends, delicious food and wine ๐Ÿ™‚ whether you ran the marathon or not, you still raised money for a great cause…and great news on getting back into some Dave Farmar! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday Jenna!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    October 18, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Sounds like California really agrees with you. Sorry your heart is hurting for the race but so happy you are taking care of yourself and enjoying your new surroundings.

  • Ellen
    October 18, 2009 at 9:35 am

    if you can’t run, you can still eat! what a wonderful way to spend your day. i think we’re currently living parallel lives, only i’m in italy!

    you’re making me think that i should move to CA after i’m done here, as i can’t bear the thought of leaving but i need to be closer to my family long-term.. hmm.. oh yeah, and alice waters is one of my idols!

  • Allison (Balance in Bites)
    October 18, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Keep your chin up even through the whole lack of running. You’ll get back there soon…. sounds like you’re giving your foot the rest that it needs, which is good.

    The food looks amazing! And now I have some more suggestions for cookbooks that I can check out =D

  • Kristie
    October 18, 2009 at 9:38 am

    That sounds like a wonderful dinner. Five hours of nonstop foodie convo sounds pretty ideal to me ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus that spread… wow!

    So glad to hear you’re getting settled and cozy!

  • Anais
    October 18, 2009 at 9:43 am

    You are going to love foie gras, it’s just so good! Paired with some champagne… it’s just a party in your mouth!

  • Daria @ Daria Can Cook
    October 18, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Must.acquire.ChezPanisseVegetables. ASAP!

  • kay (eating machine)
    October 18, 2009 at 9:47 am

    i’m in mendacino county right now, and you’re right, ca wine country is fantastic!
    and gorgeous! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    October 18, 2009 at 9:48 am

    The food looks amazing. I can’t imagine being surrounded by all that wine!!!

  • Julie
    October 18, 2009 at 9:52 am

    I am literally drooling on a daily basis as you post these amazing food and wine pics! Will be looking for some of your favorites at my local wine shop.

  • Evan Thomas
    October 18, 2009 at 9:52 am

    I envy your day. And eating local is the best feeling of all

  • Allie
    October 18, 2009 at 10:04 am

    that dinner looks fantasitc! will you review any of the cookbooks- would love to hear what you think. i have done a bit of alice waters, but would love to see what you make from patricia wells’ book. enjoy your new place!

  • Kat (Kat's Daily Plate)
    October 18, 2009 at 10:05 am

    The fish stew looks great. What was in it?

    • jenna
      October 18, 2009 at 10:20 am


      Hmm…squid, halibut and another type of fish that I don’t remember. It was delicious!

  • Jess
    October 18, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Did you mean hors d’oeuvres? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Everything looks wonderful! Congrats on a place all to yourself.

  • Diana
    October 18, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Wow, what an amazing dinner ๐Ÿ™‚ Everything sounds good!
    Glad you could do yoga, I’m sure you were feeling a little restless without exercise ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Stephanie
    October 18, 2009 at 10:08 am

    I normally never comment on people’s blogs and particularly don’t like it when people say negative things. However, please, please, please look up foie gras before you eat it. I don’t want to try and tell others how to live their lives, but it makes me incredibly sad when animals go through such suffering for unnecessary reasons. I am a meat eater, but believe in eating humanely raised meat. I think that if more people knew how some of these animals were being raised, they would think twice about contributing it. Please make an informed choice!
    I really hope I haven’t offended you with this – it was not my intent. I just can’t stay silent on this topic. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Stephanie
    October 18, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Sounds like you’re having fun!

    Were you able to go cheer on the rest of the runners?!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    October 18, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Wow, what a delicious spread of food!! And the wine…. no words can describe how awesome the wine looks!

    Have a great Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kristin
    October 18, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I noticed a bottle of Unti in your photos. It’s is one of my favorite wineries! Their Syrah is delicious- I highly suggest you try it since you have an aversion to the varietal (that I totally agree with!). Unti’s Syrah though is not a total fruit bomb and has nice structure. Very yummy. Also, if they have any Rose left, snatch up a bottle. It’s too die for!

  • Stephanie
    October 18, 2009 at 10:36 am

    oh what lovely eats! sounds like a fantastic day, foodie friends are the best right ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Adi (
    October 18, 2009 at 10:37 am

    You have your life ahead of you to run ten half marathons if you want – take the time now to take care of your body, fall in love with your new home, and appreciate the people around you. Running will always be there for you when your body is good and ready. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alyson
    October 18, 2009 at 10:38 am

    “all we did for the next five hours was eat amazing food, drink wine and talk about more foodโ€ฆthe whole time” .. this sounds like the perfect Saturday night to me! You make me miss the fabulous California cuisine options ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries
    October 18, 2009 at 10:44 am

    5 hours of foodie talk sounds like perfection.. I love that Alice Waters book!!

  • christie, honoring health
    October 18, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Sounds like a glorious way to spend an evening!

    Hope you are having a good Sunday!

  • CalliNae
    October 18, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Oh yum. Really. Yum.

  • Jaimejoy
    October 18, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I can’t believe you didn’t like Shiraz before you had it in CA! Shiraz has always been my favorite(well, maybe tied with Zinfandel….). Nice cookbooks, too! Seems like everytime you go to a dinner or a gathering you return with a present–boxes of vegtables and food, bottles of expensive wine, and now amazing cookbooks. Someone’s very lucky……..

  • Julie @savvyeats
    October 18, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Your night last night sounds like heaven. I need to make some foodie friends, because I’m definitely the “crazy-foodie” in my group!

  • Rachael
    October 18, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Us West coasters are total foodies! I can’t believe you didn’t like Syrah! My favorite wine.

  • Megan (The Runner's Kitchen)
    October 18, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I love pairing apple pie with cheese. Perfect.
    I actually have a recipe for apple pie with a cheddar crust!

  • Caitlin
    October 18, 2009 at 11:12 am

    I have tried foie gras once – also in Paris – and DESPISED. IT. I thought it tasted and looked like cat food.

  • Olga @ Healthing It
    October 18, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Wow. That dinner does look incredible! I always think that I don’t like lamb but then I taste it and love it!

  • Paige@ RunningAroundNormal
    October 18, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Way to keep positive, lil lady! I’m glad you got in some yoga! I’m sure that helps from going a little stir crazy. That meal(s) looks amazing!
    Keep your head up!

  • Matt
    October 18, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Sounds like you are in heaven ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    October 18, 2009 at 11:33 am

    All that food sounds fabulous! I’m so glad that your ankle is feeling better and you were able to do some yoga today. It must have felt so nice to relax with your poses! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Stacey
    October 18, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Yay for your own space ๐Ÿ™‚ And for new foodie friends, enjoy your relaxing day! You deserve it

  • BethT
    October 18, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Yum. Though I’d say you’re not missing much without foie gras…ew.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    October 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Did I miss a post because seems like we’re not in ‘The Attic’ anymore, Toto. lol. Awesome food—that’s Northern California…not just Wine Country! Although that all looks delicious and like total fun! If I read a French oriented book, put on French music and have pate, herbed goat cheese, baguette, cornichon, French wine. If book set in Italy–pasta with lots of basil, olives, garlic, Italian music, sunflowers, etc. Love cohesiveness.

    Everything’s coming together for you and am still wondering about ‘the secret’ yet to be revealed!

  • Amy
    October 18, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Your brother would be so happy for you!

  • andrea
    October 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    oh yes, 1 oz pours makes the difference! there is a wine store here in shanghai that we love – they have a big engomatic wine tasting machine…you can choose small, med, large…and it pours right amt into your glass…i can have 5 or 6 one oz pours, try many of the choices and still have my wit’s about me! I love it! what a fun day!

  • M
    October 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    So glad to see you so happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Gina
    October 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Jenna, didn’t you have a little place on your own in Paris?
    Is this pad #2 or #1?

    • jenna
      October 18, 2009 at 6:26 pm


      I lived with four other girls in a tiny apartment in Paris for 6 weeks! This is definitely my first place by myself..

  • maria
    October 18, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    I love when I discover a food that I never knew I liked or thought I disliked, but actually love. It’s the best!

  • elise
    October 18, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    hey jenna…congrats on having your first place!

    i love foodie bonding. i was wondering when your bf or parents were going to come visit you?! now that youve settled in you should show them the time of their lives – healdsburg style ๐Ÿ™‚

    ps my fam’s vineyard is the zinfandel acreage right next to gallo, off dry creek road. im sure you know it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jil
    October 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Our refrigerators are remarkably similar looking. haha I hear you on rebuilding a kitchen…sometimes it feels so expensive because you need to buy all the essentials…oils, spices, extracts, etc. that just seemed to come with my kitchen as a kid/teen. I still need to get my cookbooks into my apartment…hmmm. I need to get on that.

  • Kim Blix
    October 18, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Hi Jenna-
    I also am a big fan of your blog and it has, over time, been one of the blogs that I check on a regular basis. I think you are an inspiration in many ways. I so appreciate your candor and your strong faith. But I have to agree with Stephanie, in that it doesn’t seem to fit your wonderful personality or loving life approach to go into something uninformed. Please, please look into how foie gras is made before you consider trying it out. Did you know that California has passed a bill that will ban the production of Foie Gras starting in 2012 based on the inhumane way that it is produced? I can’t imagine a wonderful food blogger such as yourself promoting this cuisine. It would be heartbreaking.
    Again, I think your blog is great, and you are an amazing source of encouragement for so many, including myself, but please consider reading this before encouraging your readers to try foie gras.

  • Stephanie
    October 19, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Pate + cornichons + dijon = heaven on the palate!

  • Judith
    January 31, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Welcome to Northern California! I am lucky enough to have born and raised here, and with a few stints in Miami and Newport Beach CA (not to mention 4 months in Paris) have been fortunate enough to live here most of my life. It is interesting to see how you felt you had come home
    My daughter, Amanda (platosplate) just turned me on to your blog, and I love it! Have worked my way backward to see how you got from Florida to here, and its been fun to find out. Keep up the great work!
    A bientot (more about my Paris stay later, good you tried it before me @ 56!) Ah well, never too late!