Napa Bound

Good morning!

Happy Tuesday 🙂

I was all set to hit the gym first thing this morning before my meeting but when it came down to it, I decided to do some work on my laptop instead since I was feeling pretty behind. Plus, my little house was so nice and warm…and it’s so chilly outside!!

I made a big bowl of oatmeal, a mug of english breakfast tea, and set to work!


Sorry for the dark photo….it was very, very early! Did I mention that my beloved french press cracked yesterday???! The thought depresses me–no coffee! I need to get another at Target tomorrow or I might lose my mind….until then: tea!

So, today I’m about to head off to my meeting and then my mom and I are headed to Napa for a little retreat. We are staying at The Napa River Inn tonight and having dinner at Bottega, which I’m ecstatic about. A HUGE thank you to Kevin for getting us reservations!! We also are doing some wine tastings and just general explorations of the area (cough cough outlet mall and bouchon bakery cough cough). It should be fun!

Have a wonderful day!

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  • Jen (Running With Cake)
    November 17, 2009 at 7:50 am

    I actually like the darker photo. It reflects the warm and cozy feeling of your apartment! Enjoy Napa and have a glass (or a taste) of vino for all of us bloggies who will be working today – I prefer chardonnay ;-)!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    November 17, 2009 at 7:55 am

    I’ve been dying to go to NAPA forever! Have a wonderful time. 🙂

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    November 17, 2009 at 7:59 am

    OOOOh! Have fun! I love Napa!

  • Megan (The Runner's Kitchen)
    November 17, 2009 at 8:06 am

    I love the big scoop of nut butter in your oats – perfect breakfast for a chilly morning! And I’m quite jealous of your Napa excursion 🙂 I wonder if the Bouchon Bakery in Napa is related to the one here in NYC…can’t wait for your review!

  • katherine
    November 17, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Have a wonderful time, can’t wait to see pictures!!

  • Whitney @ Lettuce Love
    November 17, 2009 at 8:06 am

    I really like the dark photo look — very wintery 🙂

    Have fun in Napa!

  • BethT
    November 17, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Bottega is AWESOME. You must, must, must get the polenta. It was utterly amazing. Try some of the wines from Michael Chiarello’s private vineyard, as well.

    And Bouchon….don’t get me started!! I STRONGLY suggest their version of the “Nutter Butter” cookie. Peanut butter buttercream, anyone?!

  • MelissaNibbles
    November 17, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Napa sounds very exciting! You’re living the dream out there in Cali!

  • Catherine
    November 17, 2009 at 8:09 am

    What fun! My boyfriend & I were just there for a quick night on Saturday. If you have time, I recommend checking out the V. Sattui winery. It’s not only beautiful but it has a cute wine tasting room + store. We sampled amazing homemade fudge & cheese plus I bought beautiful soaps made in Napa. Oh, there’s also a Dean + DeLuca across the street 🙂

  • Ameena
    November 17, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Napa is beautiful, lucky you! Have a great time with your mom.

  • Rachel in NC
    November 17, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I’m totally jealous that you are going to Bottega! I love Michael Chiarello!

  • Christie @ Honoring Health
    November 17, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Oh, Man, I bet that is going to be awesome! Eat some for the team 😉

  • Kristie Lynn
    November 17, 2009 at 8:14 am

    How did your french press crack? So sad 🙁

    Have fun today!

  • Tay
    November 17, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Have a fun day with Mommy!! Such a fun girls day 🙂

  • Erin
    November 17, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Your oatmeal makes me hungry for an early lunch. 😀

    Enjoy Napa — can’t wait to see your pictures.

  • legalstyle
    November 17, 2009 at 8:22 am

    the outlet mall in napa is fantastic! have fun! can’t wait to see where you go / what you like!

  • Lizzie
    November 17, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Ummm . . bakery . . . French bakery . .. . bread . .? Take me with you!!! 🙂

    Have a wonderful day with your mum. You guys sound like you’re packing a lot into her holiday – yay!

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    November 17, 2009 at 8:27 am

    That’s my only gripe about French Presses, they’re a pain in the butt to clean and they break incredibly easily. Sorry to hear about yours!

    Have fun in Napa!

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion
    November 17, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Napa is a place I have ALWAYS wanted to go! Enjoy! So nice to be able to spend time with your mom!

  • Krissy - Single Serving
    November 17, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Wine tasting – one of my very favorite things. And it’s pretty much your job!! So jealous. 🙂 Have a great time with your mom!

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl))
    November 17, 2009 at 8:44 am

    My goodness girl, what time do you wake up? Have fun in Napa!!

  • Tania @ Moment Anew
    November 17, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Wine, french bakery, great restaurant, shopping…..WOW!!! Lucky YOU!! 🙂

  • Lindsay
    November 17, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Have fun in Napa!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat
    November 17, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Sounds like a nice little retreat! Hope you and your mom have a blast 🙂

  • Betty
    November 17, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Genoa’s is a good, classic Italian deli in Napa if you need lunch 🙂

  • J
    November 17, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Hey Jenna
    happy mother week!
    Hey,did you end up getting a sofa/table yet?
    I lost track and would love to see photos if you don’t mind when you do for your sweet apt?Cheers and thanks 🙂

  • Susan
    November 17, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Boo to your french press cracking!! You have a bodum don’t you? Normally those are pretty sturdy. Tea is good, but it’s just not the same when all you want is coffee 🙁

  • Sarah (Oc2Seattle)
    November 17, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Adore Bouchon. Have a fabulous time!

  • Abby (Abbys Vegan Eats)
    November 17, 2009 at 9:53 am

    My hub has gone through approx 4 french presses since Ive known him. You gotta be sooo careful with those!! Oh well, tea is a good choice until you can get a new one!!! 🙂

  • Foy
    November 17, 2009 at 9:55 am

    You don’t need a French Press or a coffee pot to make coffee. I learned this technique from my incredulous next door neighbor in Panama after I explained to him that I couldn’t make coffee, I didn’t know how without a machine.

    Coffee without Equipment

    1. Measure out 1.25 cups of water into a sauce pan for every cup of coffee you want.
    2. On the stove bring the water to a boil.
    3. Take the water off the boil and add a heaping teaspoon of coffee grounds to the pot for every cup of coffee you are making. Do not stir. The grounds will float on top, then moisten and sink.
    4. Let the pot of coffee sit off the heat, for about three minutes – most of the grounds will sink to the bottom. Now you can pour off the cups of coffee carefully so as not to stir up the grounds and get them into your cup. If you really don’t like grit in the bottom of your coffee use a coffee filiter, unbleached cotton fabric or paper towel to filter the coffee as you pour it into your cup.

    And that’s how to make coffee without any special equipment.

  • Emily
    November 17, 2009 at 10:04 am

    AHHH Napa is amazing! I went to Bottega for the first time in April and it was so delicious. Plus, Michael Chiarello was there in person – added bonus for sure! Be sure to check out the store next door, Napa Style. I think you would really like their products 🙂

  • Evan Thomas
    November 17, 2009 at 10:09 am

    No coffee? Hang in there, haha

  • Heather (Sugar & Spice Blog)
    November 17, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I can’t wait to hear about Bouchon! I love Thomas Keller… hope you love the bakery!!

  • Lindsay
    November 17, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Favorite wineries in Napa: Trefethen and Alpha Omega…

    Enjoy your day!

  • Jenna
    November 17, 2009 at 10:37 am

    have a fantastic day in napa 🙂

  • Paige (Running Around Normal)
    November 17, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Broken French Press?! The tragedy! Yes you must get a new one now! haha. I would probably react that way, too. I needs mah coffees. Have fun at dinner 😀

  • Jamie
    November 17, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Have a great day with your mom! I am just wondering…you said it was really early this morning… what time do you usually wake up with your new life out in CA?? Just wondering! 🙂

  • Beth
    November 17, 2009 at 10:54 am

    OH MY GOD, we went to Bottega the last night of our honeymoon in September and it was AMAZING. And meeting Michael Chiarello was really great, he’s so nice!

    Definitely agree, get the polenta appetizer, it’s incredible. I have dreams about it..

    Also, the ricotta gnocchi was sensational. I can’t wait for the post about this dinner!!!

    Have so much fun!

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner
    November 17, 2009 at 11:04 am

    That sounds like an amazing trip! Enjoy!

  • eatmovelove
    November 17, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Hey Jenna, I’m still relatively new to your site. I know another reader commented that you love to bake and stuff. I also know that you are writing a book/cookbook!! (great stuff) – but I was wondering what your ‘passion’ and what it was that led you to all of this…cooking? or writing? or a combination? I don’t see you post many pics of the food you cook or bake – but again I’m new and not sure if you did this before you moved/new job , all that!! Anyways, just curious! Have a great time in Napa – I’m jealous!!

    • jenna
      November 17, 2009 at 4:51 pm


      I got my bachelor’s degree in writing and english and then pursued a culinary degree so I could combine my passion for food + writing to be…you guessed it…A FOOD WRITER! 🙂 I’ve worked on the line at restaurants, have been a baker full time and have studied nonfiction in Paris so I could have the credentials to really KNOW food and be a better writer.

  • Erin
    November 17, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Bouchon Bakery is a must stop. The pastel macaroons are amazing!! I wanted to try their version of the ‘nutter butter. Next time, I guess. Enjoy!!

  • Virginia
    November 17, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Coffee press – try Cost Plus World Market – if there is one in your area. They have really pretty ones – for rather inexpensive. I found one there and purchased it – right next door was target and they were twice as much!!

  • laura dishes
    November 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Bouchon Bakery sometimes has this cashew butter + raspberry preserves sandwich on brioche that is just amazing! Have fun today!

  • Marissa
    November 17, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Wow! Napa! Enjoy!!!!!!!!

  • Lauren
    November 17, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    What a cool job! And those oats are such a wonderful morning breakfast. Have fun!

  • Nicole (dishin')
    November 17, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    The menu at Bottega looks amazing! Totally drool-worthy. I love rustic Italian food…mmm! Have fun!

  • Caitlin
    November 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I am excited to see what you will get at Bouchon!! MMM!

  • kristin
    November 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Sorry to hear about your french press! Bodum makes several all metal presses that won’t break. They’re a bit more expensive than the glass ones, and it doesn’t have the bonus watch-your-coffee-brew bit, but not having to replace the thing is a pretty big incentive!

  • Kelly from Bridges and Bites
    November 17, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Oh sad day with no coffee!!!!! Have fun in Napa!

  • Katie
    November 17, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Sounds like a great time! You are having so many adventures with mom you guys will cherish the memories! Have fun in the wine country.

  • Emily Eats and Exercises
    November 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    When my boyfriend broke his french press for the 3rd time, I bought him a stainless steel one. It was a bit expensive, but less expensive than 3 glass ones…
    Have a great trip.

  • Kasey @ Fit For Wellness
    November 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Have a great trip… looking forward to your Napa Recap!

  • Annamarina (Running Tails)
    November 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Have fun in Napa! I was there a couple of months ago visiting my best friend and I think we definitely tried one of everything at the Bouchon Bakery! And it was all DELICIOUS!

  • katie
    November 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    have a great time with yo momma! yall are both so beautiful! i love my mom too-thats so good u get to spend time with her

  • Kristy (Love Run Live)
    November 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    So jealous!! Have a great time and can’t wait to hear all about it and see your wonderful pictures!

  • Jolene (
    November 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Those are some tasty looking oats!

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee)
    November 17, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I love the dark photo, it captures the early morning light very well, and makes the photo warmer 🙂

  • Holly
    November 17, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I recommend Domaine Chandon in Yountville for bubbly!

  • Carly
    November 17, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Be sure to stop by Hill Family Estate and grab some Carly’s Cuvee Chardonnay! Bottega is really good and the bakery is always delicious… I loved growing up in Yountville… If you have time stop by REDD for some lunch and go to Darioush Winery on the silverado trail and of course Domaine or Mumm cuvee for some bubbly… I can’t wait to visit the family in Y-town this next week for the holiday! Enjoy 🙂