Behind The Butter/ Dessert/ Dinner

The Glamorous Life I Live


I had a major food excursion today. Living here is a lot like living in France, actually. You should really go to numerous different places to acquire all your groceries. Trader Joe’s for basics, farm stands for produce, the bakery for bread….really, when you get down to it, you should dedicate a whole day to grocery shopping and I can’t think of a better way to spend my time (or money?).

Check out these HUGE carrots and beets from a farm stand in Santa Rosa. This ain’t no winn dixie, people.


That carrot was the size of my arm. Seriously.


After chatting a bit with the owner, I found out that everything at this stand is picked fresh daily. I couldn’t believe I was buying leeks and swiss chard that had been in the ground only hours before. Crazy!! I also picked up some more dried beans since you really can never have enough.

Then, I went to this tiny Mexican grocery that the owner of the farm stand recommended for slabs of bacon. I figured it would be good to have good bacon on hand….you just never know. Really. Then, it was off to TJ’s for three lbs of greek yogurt (muhaha) and basics like sesame oil and baking powder. I came home triumphant and hungry.


A half cup of yogurt with gooey almond butter and puffins. Hit the spot. Then, I walked to Sheltons (the natural foods shop in town) for fresh sourdough bread that was just baked today. See? I told you my days revolve around food.

Dinner was a little something I like to call “beans & greens”.



So, I know this is like totally unfair of me to do to y’all but I’m in the process of making up and testing like a gazillion new recipes and I can’t release them on the blog for public knowledge yet. You’ll have to just trust me on this one. It will be worth the wait! However, I’ll tell you this: it involved bacon, onions, garlic, swiss chard, cannellini beans, olive oil, sea salt and sourdough bread with butter. And it was awesome.


Beans rock.

So does swiss chard???!! This stuff is absolutely amazing…why am I just discovering it now? I loved the crunch…and the fact that it was just picked today!


Per usual, had a glass of (ahem) Deux Terres with dinner and a mug of Aveda tea after dinner. With chocolate.

The first step is admitting you have a problem.


Enter: Jenna’s chocolate drawer. Yes, I have a whole drawer in my kitchen designated to my dark chocolate stash. I don’t see a problem at all. Dessert was 4 (??) squares of the TJ’s chocolate in pink. The chocolate I usually eat when I photo it for the blog is the Scharffen-Berger organic stuff……I got a whole bunch from BlogHer Food and it’s pretty darn amazing.

So tonight my glamorous life included me, sitting on my wood floor eating beans, drinking wine and talking to my mom on the phone. California is glaaaaamorous I tell you! 😉


Just put my “writing music” on and I’m off to work. My writing music may or may not be the soundtrack from Little Women, circa 1994. Yesssss.

You Might Also Like

  • Jocelyn
    October 20, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    you are sooo cute sittin on that floor eating beans talkin to momma 😉 Thats all I really had to say….

  • Jess
    October 20, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I wish I had the time to shop all day..

  • Jessica Joy
    October 20, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    We must be kindred spirits….I love that soundtrack too! 🙂

  • rebecca
    October 20, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    omg little women from the mid-90’s is my favorite movie ever. i still watch it every christmas (on vhs of course) and on snow days.

    all of that fresh produce looks amazing!

  • Julie @savvyeats
    October 20, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I love grocery shopping at multiple places — I end up with ingredients that are so much better that way!

  • Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries
    October 20, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Can’t wait for that recipe–the beans & greens combo loooks incredible

  • Samantha
    October 20, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    love your blog, but it makes me hungry every time I read! And I don’t cook AT ALL. It’s horrible, but I just don’t enjoy it! I am sharing an apartment with 4 messy girls, so that does play into it, so maybe when I’m on my own I’ll be more motivated. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy your pretty pictures of deliciousness!

  • Jolene (
    October 20, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    The life you are living sounds like a dream come true girl! I have never been to California (or anywhere near it really) … but I can only imagine!

  • maria
    October 20, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Since moving to Japan, I never, ever buy all of my groceries in one place. I know where the best products and deals are and I shop there. When you don’t rely on a car it makes it harder to use the, “I don’t wanna waste gas” excuse! 😀

  • Fattie Fatterton
    October 20, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Mmmmhmmm, I bet those recipes are why you were in NY!!

  • Amy
    October 20, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Laurie(christian bale) is so dreamy in that movie!! You might also like the soundtrack to A Little Princess. That was always good writing/studying music for me.

  • sue
    October 20, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    your posts make me so homesick! isn’t cali (and the produce) just the best?

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee)
    October 20, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    that is one of my favorite films, with such a lovely soundtrack. To this day, I can’t go a winter without sitting down for a couple of hours on a cold afternoon with a tea to immerse myself in the 1994 version of ‘Little Women.’

  • Still Life in South America
    October 20, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    OMG, you are a trip today.

    Love those beans and greens! I’m the same way about beans in the morning. They don’t sell canned beans here, so soaking and cooking beans is the only way.

  • Kristen @
    October 20, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I’ve never tried swiss chard. Is it bitter at all, like kale? I’m not a big kale fan (gasp!).

    Your dinner and dessert stash look awesome.

  • Laura
    October 20, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Recipes under wraps? Intriguing!
    This dish looks great. Canellinis are where it’s at.
    And LOL, i love Little Women! Winona owns in that movie.

  • Kristine
    October 20, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    holy moly. that is one big thick carrot!

  • Amanda
    October 20, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    If I could make my day revolve around grocery shopping I would be a happy girl. You’re livin’ the dream Jenna!

  • Lindsay
    October 20, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks for talking more about chocolate in this post! I really like Chocolove. Have you ever tried it? Am a total sucker for the “love poem inside” (as the wrapper says) and the cute packaging.

  • Sarah
    October 20, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Love the chocolate drawer! My sister has the same thing at her house – too funny.

  • Rachael
    October 20, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    I agree that is THE BEST way to shop! I am so grateful to have Pike Place Market (Seattle) as my backyard!

    Ooh! Swiss Chard is very good. Try it sauteed with olive oil, garlic, chili pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Or add it to soup with carrots, cannellini (sp?) beans and other seasonal veggies. Yum!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    October 20, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    OMG. The greens & beans looked and sounded EXCELLENT..perfect….I’ll make with ingredients described & look forward to the total recipe…awesome. In many neighborhoods in San Francisco, also have that sense of France as go to this shop for outrageous bread, here for fresh flowers, vegs & fruits eleswhere…stop at the boulangerie to sit outside for capucinno and talk w/friends. Very civilized. Love it. Also here in Carmel. AND Carmel began with a large land purchase by French entrepreneur. The seat of California government under Spanish rule was in Monterey–the buildings are still there and beautiful. Then Mexico ruled until 1850 when California became part of US. All the artists/writers came here aft 1906 SF Earthquake, and the City came from the Frenchman’s purchase of a Mexican rancho…subdivided for the City and for land/houses for artists/writers…all that tradition is still very alive, preserved.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    October 20, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Hmm, yeah, a gazillion recipes being developed under wraps and trip to NYC in Chelsea where there are publishers….and waiting for mail…..mmm…CONTRACT?

  • Mama Pea
    October 20, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    The funny thing is, in 10 years, you will look back at this and feel nostalgic. And my chocolate drawer is so much more embarrassing than that. Have you seen those HUGE bars from TJs? Nuff said.

  • Diana
    October 20, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    My saturdays mornings are usually all about grocery shopping. I love it 🙂
    Hmmm chocolate 😛

  • Hillary
    October 21, 2009 at 12:00 am

    1. NorCal is amazing. Fresh Food Paradise.

    2. It’s nice to know someone else has a serious dark chocolate stash. It’s always the perfect dessert!

  • ellen eats beets
    October 21, 2009 at 12:04 am

    I always have some chocolate on hand for “emergencies”, aka after every meal 🙂

  • Ellen
    October 21, 2009 at 12:38 am

    beans and greens, two of my staple food groups!

    i prefer to shop this way as it ensures you get the best of the best. a bakery with awful bread isn’t going to stay in business long. how can a store that deals with produce, dairy, meat AND baked goods, do them all equally well?? it just makes sense to me. plus, if you stop by the store every day, then it doesn’t take an entire day but instead just a few minutes to pick up what you’re missing for dinner that night. it’s how they do it in italy as well and i love it 🙂

  • Laura
    October 21, 2009 at 2:13 am

    Oh, are you writing a cook book? That would be awesome. 🙂 A friend of mine recently got a book deal to write a cook book and she’s beyond excited. It’s also a sweet deal for the friends of the author, who are prepared to take the results of trial recipes off her hands!

    Although I have to say – your chocolate drawer has nothing on my chocolate bag, hee. Eleven different types of chocolate, and counting!

  • Gina
    October 21, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Hiw funny I eat it with beans all the time.
    I saure swiss chatd in olive oil(sometimes with onion and ginger,sometimes not)add some tamari sauce and maple syrup,add pinto beans , a touvh more tamari and maple syrup PLUS sriracha hot sauce sprinled over and mixed it.
    SO SO yummy.Sometimes I add a little chopped sweet potato or broccoli or something to mixture.
    LOVE my beans & greens .Yours looks goooooood..mmmm

  • Ellen
    October 21, 2009 at 3:30 am

    I wholeheartedly agree that grocery shopping should be a day-long affair. Nothing makes me happier than an awesome food market. Living in Manhattan, I may be as close as you to farms, but I definitely do the produce from the CSA, cheese from the fromagerie, bread at the bakery, etc. LOVE it.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    October 21, 2009 at 3:48 am

    I love beans and greens. I combine a very similar recipe!

  • Jessie (Vegan-minded)
    October 21, 2009 at 4:05 am

    I am so jealous of your fresh produce! It is so much better than getting it from a supermarket. I love your chocolate drawer 🙂

  • Lara
    October 21, 2009 at 4:28 am

    That is exactly how I food shop and it takes me a good part of the day on either Sat or Sun and then I also make random trips during the week for highly perishable things like bread and fish. It is time intensive but so worth it. Farmers mkt for produce, bakery for fresh baked bread, TJ’s/Whole Foods for fish/meats, Greek yogurt and pantry items etc. Every house should have a chocolate drawer. Mine is always stocked 🙂 but I can’t eat 4 squares a day or I would be hooyage.
    Swiss chard is a great green to use in the massaged salads, just sub it for the kale. Delicious.

  • Stephanie
    October 21, 2009 at 4:29 am

    I adore swiss chard as well, I made a swiss chard gratin w/ a cream sauce that got bubbly and deelish and it was amazing! Chard is also so good just sauteed with garlic/balsamic – simple and deelish 🙂

  • Eats and Exercises
    October 21, 2009 at 4:35 am

    I can’t wait for you to give us lots of new recipes. Just make sure there are a few without bacon 😉
    I don’t think I could have a chocolate drawer – I would eat the whole thing… My chocolate willpower is severely limited.

  • Lara
    October 21, 2009 at 4:41 am

    That is exactly how I food shop and it takes me a good part of the day on either Sat or Sun and then I also make random trips during the week for highly perishable things like bread and fish. It is time intensive but so worth it. Farmers mkt for produce, bakery for fresh baked bread, TJ’s/Whole Foods for fish/meats, Greek yogurt and pantry items etc. Every house should have a chocolate drawer. Mine is always stocked 🙂 but I can’t eat 4 squares a day or I would be hooyage.
    Swiss chard is a great green to use in the massaged salads, just sub it for the kale. Delicious.

  • Susan
    October 21, 2009 at 4:43 am

    If I lived in a place with so much fresh food, I would definitely take advantage of it too. It would be a shame not to!! Little Women circa 1994 is one of my faves!!!

  • Megan (The Runner's Kitchen)
    October 21, 2009 at 4:48 am

    I love grocery shopping! I think it makes me happier than anything in the world 🙂 I also enjoy beans and inexpensive recipes – yeah, small budgets. I used lots ‘o beans to make a yummy Autumn beer themed chili last night.

  • Felicia
    October 21, 2009 at 4:50 am

    That dinner looks great! I love swiss chard, and throwing bacon in there… even better! I’m looking forward to the recipe, but maybe I’ll just experiment with the ingredients for now. 🙂

  • Katrina (gluten free gidget)
    October 21, 2009 at 4:52 am

    I make Chard Cigars by wrapping a mix of lentils (and other things) in them and steam/baking them! Soooo good!
    PS- I’m jealous of your farm stands!

  • Mariel
    October 21, 2009 at 4:55 am

    I made greens and beans for lunch! Except I used collards. Yum!

  • Paige (Running Around Normal)
    October 21, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Wow all of your groceries look amazing! I can’t believe those carrots!!
    I completely agree that it takes more than one stop to get your grocery shopping done – I just wish I had as many options as you do!
    Have a glamorous day! 😉

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    October 21, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Girl! That sounds like my kind of day!! That’s the type of days I want to have. Very simple, yet completely satisfying.


  • Jac
    October 21, 2009 at 5:23 am

    so cool to have so many places to get fresh food! looks like you had fun grocery shopping!

  • Kasey @ Fit For Wellness
    October 21, 2009 at 5:43 am

    Grocery shopping all day = a perfect day in my book!

  • MelissaNibbles
    October 21, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Oh girl, you outta take a look at my frosting drawer.

  • brandi
    October 21, 2009 at 5:55 am

    i agree about buying things fresh + local. So much better!

    Your “secret” recipe looks good 🙂

  • Daria @ Daria Can Cook
    October 21, 2009 at 6:01 am

    I have major produce envy. You’re so lucky!

  • rhodeygirl
    October 21, 2009 at 6:11 am

    I have a whole corner in my freezer devoted to chocolate.

  • Janna (Just Flourishing)
    October 21, 2009 at 6:17 am

    I absolutely agree that you should devote a whole day to food shopping! You can’t find EVERYTHING in one place, right!

    I really need to invest in some dark chocolate. I have a slight chocolate addiction as well.

    Also, I love Aveda tea! One of my favourites.

  • Jenna
    October 21, 2009 at 6:23 am

    sounds like a pretty fun day food shopping!

  • Tina
    October 21, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I could totally grocery shop and talk about food all day. I pretty much think about it all day already!

    I ordered PB2 earlier this week and I can’t wait to mix it into Greek yogurt like I’ve seen you do!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    October 21, 2009 at 6:41 am

    That’s great that you’re able to get everything so fresh! A foodies dream!! And I love your chocolate drawer. That is DEFINITELY something I need to get!! :O)

  • Lisa
    October 21, 2009 at 6:43 am

    I understand the chocolate drawer, I really do. Thing is, I would never be able to walk away from it. I would eat just that. My sister used to have a freezer in the basement that her 4 little kids didn’t know she had bakery goodies in. I discovered it when I spent the night and thought it was brilliant-a bunch of goodies saved for midnight! No worries, Jenna! You don’t have a problem in our eyes!!

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels
    October 21, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Damn you are committed to your food lady! I could spend a whole day at the market myself but I surely do not have the options that you do.

  • Evan Thomas
    October 21, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Those are most definitely frankencarrots

  • skinnyrunner
    October 21, 2009 at 7:01 am

    you should be a personal chef! i can pay you in old gossip magazines to be mine…. deal?

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    October 21, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I loved shopping like that when I lived in Spain. It was all so fresh.

    I love that music too!

  • Danielle
    October 21, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Well being happy with where you are and living life as if you were “living in France” sounds pretty amazing to me 😉 enjoy!

  • Brynn
    October 21, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Chocolate drawer! I have one to. 🙂

  • Rose
    October 21, 2009 at 7:19 am

    That sounds like my kind of night!

  • Jil
    October 21, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Wow, those are huuuuge carrots. The beans and greens look delish! I have a chocolate shelf in one of my cabinets…it’s pretty empty right now though…need to change that. haha

  • Carolyn
    October 21, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Everything looks fantastic! I wish we had that kind of produce here. I wonder if the quantity of California produce will start to decline as their water problem increase?

  • Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    October 21, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Beans are so yummy!

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    October 21, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Those carrots are downright mercurial. That dinner looks ultra satisfying and nutritious! Also, I have a sneaking suspicion regarding your surprise/why you can’t post about certain recipes…but I’ll keep those suspicions/wishes to myself and hope they come true for you! 🙂

  • dianacheung
    October 21, 2009 at 8:04 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now!!! Your meals inspired my dinner last night: roasted chicken and butternut squash!! Yummmy. Thanks for making me crave food through the internet stranger. 🙂 Also, can I start a petition to open a Trader Joe’s in Texas?!?

  • Nicole (dishin')
    October 21, 2009 at 8:36 am

    I love those greens. Great meal!!

  • Nicole
    October 21, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Are you writing a cook book?!?

  • Anna
    October 21, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I never realized I could buy the soundtrack…
    and instantly scoped it out, $3.58 on Amazon

  • Leanne
    October 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    HOLLYWOOD! haha sounds like the perfect evening to me!

  • Gabriela
    October 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    So jealous of all this gorgeous food! There’s something so civilized about going to little shops instead of banging a cart around a grocery store with fluorescent lighting. And I think more than a few of us have the same dark chocolate addiction, don’t worry 🙂

  • Cara
    October 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Hey Jenna,

    Welcome to California! Although I live in San Francisco, I’m originally from Sonoma County (Sebastopol) and love reading your blog as you discover the amazingness that is food here in Northern Cali. One recommendation. I know you love yogurt and that’s why you should check out Straus Creamery yogurt. The dairy is super sustainable and the yogurt delish! Since you are trying to eat more local food, you should try it.
    ps. I can totally spend my day shopping for, cooking and eating food and loving every minute!

  • Tay
    October 21, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    hehe I have a candy drawer filled with dark chocolate as well! My special little stash 😉

  • andrea
    October 21, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    oh yes, the multiple shopping stops…same in China…here for bread (though its still not yummy and I have to make some at home, too!) here for meat or there for meat, these 3 places for veggies and fruits, and these 4 places for staples cause you know you wont find it all in one spot! oy! Typically walking, as well, which I love as long as I have the time. Dinner looks yum! I give it a thumbs up…am sure they have the greens here…now to get the mandarin translation!..oh ps, I have the same chocolate in pink…brought back 8 bars with me in august!

  • Madeleine @ Notes On A Page
    October 22, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Aw, I love Little Women! Now I’m all nostalgic 😉

  • postcollegecook
    October 22, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    hahaha jenna you crack me up 🙂 in a good way.

  • Counting on his “ill” suggestion, we each bought a pale ale, which became middle-of-the-road, but good and lager-y enough to pleasantly remind me of my Yuengling-guzzling days while learning in Philly. “If you obtain to be able to visit
    March 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

    […] food and diet business propaganda that make and hold us ill and fat. Lies by the food industry combined with bad government policy predicated on food industry lobbying will be the main cause of our […]