Behind The Butter

what i’m loving (even more) now

It’s Monday.

I’m grocery shopping, baking, writing a book and doing my first load of laundry since Christmas. What?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about “what I’m loving now” that included random things that struck my fancy, such as the ballet flats that I stole borrowed from my mom’s closet, college football and PW’s pistachio cake. It seemed to get a good response and I love to share current stuff in my life with y’all!

So here’s a follow-up. Some simple things I’m digging right now…


yes, another book! I started this last night and love it. It’s (yet another) historical novel, but this time about the lives of an Italian immigrant family during the early 1900’s in New York. It reads like a movie and I just love all the vivid language the author uses! Read it!


Emperor’s Bride tea from The Tea Room in Savannah. I got this loose tea as a thoughtful and sweet gift from The Church Cook when I (gulp) smashed my finger in the car door over Christmas. Since then I’ve drank it every day and am about to order more from their website! It’s quite possibly the best black tea I’ve ever tasted and I’m addicted.

Thank you, Kay!!


Tacos .Ā  I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you Adam and I have eaten mini tacos from the local taco truck two nights in a row now for dinner. Tonight I think I’ll make a vegetable.


[photo courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod]

Maria’s cinnamon streusel pancakes. Need I say more? Breakfast for dinner never looked so sweet.


Fine. You win. I wasn’t going to reveal my artistic masterpiece that I drew on Saturday, but here it is in all it’s glory. So yeah…I’m really into pastels now!

Adam still hasn’t framed this. I wonder why?

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  • katryn@rampantcuisine
    January 17, 2011 at 11:50 am…gosh. WHERE is that S’more from?? Must get one now.

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      it was from a booth at the San Francisco street food festival!

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day
    January 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Whenever I need a new book to add to my Kindle, you are my first stop. Laura Ingalls Wilder and I go way back, so I figured since you are in love with her, then your other choices in books will spark an interest in me too.

    Now I want pancakes, with a side of tacos, please.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    January 17, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I need that s’more in my life!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    January 17, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I’m impressed Jenna! You have way more skills than I do!!

  • Susan @ Mom Swim Bike Run
    January 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Have you read Sarah’s Key? It’s a great one; I think you would love it!

  • Heather @ Heather's Dish
    January 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I saw those pancakes this morning too and almost die of pure happiness!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    January 17, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I love Maria’s blog! Her recipes (including that killer pancake) are great šŸ™‚

  • Kelly
    January 17, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I literally JUST came from the Tea Room in Savannah (I bought the cherry blossom green tea). Another place you guys should try (if you haven’t) is the Gryphon Tea Room….right across from the SCAD store. In that same square, they have a super duper cute bookstore. It’s like the best of all worlds.!

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      so jealous! I miss savannah!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    January 17, 2011 at 11:59 am

    You are a chef AND an artist!! (and a yogi!!!!) –love your artwork and thanks for sharing!

    The smores. Oh, I need more.

    My hair stylist’s boyfriend owns one of those taco trucks. Well, his is gourmet comfort food, i.e. mini sliders and his truck is in LA. Apparently business is booming. Glad you’re loving your local truck šŸ™‚

    Have a great day!


  • Stephanie
    January 17, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I love your book suggestions!

  • cathyb.@brightbakes
    January 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I’m in the process of baking chocolate graham crackers…..betcha can’t guess what’s gonna happen to them after I saw that first photo on your post! šŸ˜‰
    cathy b.
    p.s.once again, thanks for the great book selections…I’ve been tearing through them like crazy to! Just finished “a secret kept”(which was just ok, imho) and next I’m onto the book thief…

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      chocolate graham crackers?! droooool. šŸ˜‰

  • Zanna
    January 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Love the art, you have a little “Arthur Dove” thing going on, which is great…

  • jenn
    January 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I love the pastels! I think adam should frame! I need more book ideaas

  • Bethany @Bridezilla Bakes
    January 17, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Why, indeed?? It’s beautiful! (I mean it).

    Love your book recommendations — please keep them coming!

    And taco trucks are up there on my “Why to move to Cali next year” list — Chicago has great food, but apparently there are licensing issues with food trucks. Who knew? I just think it’d be fun to live in a place with food trucks!

  • Sana
    January 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I don’t eat food from kitchens that can relocate. But this taco turck excites me.

    • kimmy
      January 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      This seriously made me laugh!

  • Camille
    January 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Jenna, that is the Mona Lisa compared to anything I could draw. I struggle with proportions on stick figures.

  • Maria
    January 17, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Fun post! Thanks for including my pancakes. They are decadent and borderline evil, but I promise they are worth it:) They are my favorite breakfast treat!

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      I can’t wait to make them!

  • megan @ blackberries for jam
    January 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I LOVE these posts! Especially your book suggestions. And that picture is a gem. Be proud of your inner artist breaking through!

  • erin* Sparkle & Hay
    January 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    that pancake looks so delicious!!!

  • Alina @ Duty Free Foodie
    January 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I love tacos! It’s between tacos and quesadillas tonight, but definitely Mexican takeout. Actually, it’s kind of hard to concentrate right now since Mexican food is all I can think about.

  • Blog is the New Black
    January 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Awesome pics- photos and drawings, alike!

  • Brooke (bittersweetb)
    January 17, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    That pancake looks amazing!! I realize it’s 3:30 in the afternoon here but who says you can’t have pancakes in the afternoon?

    ps. beautiful picture!

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      pancakes are always acceptable in my book!

  • Baking 'n' Books
    January 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I see nothing wrong with eating tacos every night – throw some lettuce on there – there’s your vegetable šŸ˜‰

    Do you and Adam live together?

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm


      • Baking 'n' Books
        January 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm

        Haha – that’s a rather enthusiastic Nope! šŸ™‚ Smart!

  • Stephanie @ Living and Loving
    January 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Just another book to add to my Kindle reading list!

  • Kelly
    January 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    That picture looks good to me! I can’t even draw stick figures so that looks amazing! šŸ™‚ My husband and I are in the middle of a kitchen remodel. Currently we have had fro-yo for dinner two nights in a row…hey you gotta do what you gotta do. Fro -yo and mini tacos be damned! šŸ™‚

  • Paige
    January 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    You are, for sure, the Bob Ross of pastels.

  • Natalie @ Will Jog For Food
    January 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    The s’more and the pancakes are making me SOOOO hungry!

  • Rachel @ Grateful Girl Goes Gluten Free
    January 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    When I finally start reading regularly again, I’m going straight to your blog for book ideas!

  • Cara
    January 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    You are so adorable, i absolutely love it! great drawing!

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations
    January 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Cinnamon streusel pancakes: divinely decadent!!

    Your artwork: it’s good; you made it sound like it wasn’t the other day.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss
    January 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for showing the picture! It’s good! and those cinnamon stuesel pancakes?! Ohhh my gooshhh

  • Lola
    January 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Three cheers for Tacos!!!! YAY!!!!! Spread some mexican-food love šŸ™‚
    I don’t like pastels because I hate to have powder on my fingers!! hehe but your pic is cute šŸ™‚

  • Liz
    January 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    You know what? I like your drawing. It may not look just like the photo, but I think it captures the essence of the photo. (And I’m not just saying that like how you find something nice to say about a kid’s drawing. :-)) It’s actually almost abstract – if you stand back, I think you’d just see a swath of green, a swath of grey, and a swath of blue. It’s composed well, as are all of your photos. You definitely have an eye for balance and composition.

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      hehehe thank you! Adam said it needed “texture”.

  • Moni'sMeals
    January 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Must have! Must have now!

  • Fancy
    January 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Yay, I love this post! It reminds me of your old posts when you would blog more about your day to day life….I’ve missed reading those posts! P.S. The picture that you made is beautiful šŸ™‚

  • Ann @ Day by Day
    January 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I love these posts! So eclectic and fun. I think more people should make lists of what they’re loving, like maybe every week or so. It keeps things in perspective! And I may just write down every time you recommend a book. I’ve read a lot of the same ones. You have great taste in literature!

  • Kamaile
    January 17, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I JUST finished reading Elizabeth Street! It was a great book.
    Now I’m reading: The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

    • Christine
      January 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      I loved The School of Essential Ingredients . . . great book!

      • jenna
        January 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm

        I’ll have to look for that one next! Thank you!

  • jen @ taste life
    January 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Jenna, your artwork is beautiful, no joke! And I was an art major!

  • Susan
    January 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Love the picture!

    Where’s the taco truck located? I haven’t been to a taco truck since my friend left Sonoma. But that taco looks yummy and I may have to hunt it down.

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      we have about 560 in Santa Rosa! My favorite is on guerneville road…it’s delicious, fast and CHEAP!

  • amanda @ JustAmandaJ
    January 17, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Your pic reminds me of Bob Ross, which I think is pretty awesome šŸ™‚

  • Formulating Foodie
    January 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    LOL! Love the picture! Pancakes for dinner? I’m in.

  • Tammy @ Palm Trees and Manatees
    January 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Isn’t it cool how the simple things make life so much fun? I mean, who know that tea or a smore could result in so much happiness? I love it.

  • stacey-healthylife
    January 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Oh my that pancake looks wonderful and such a great idea.

  • Lacey @ Lake Life
    January 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Kudos to you for posting your masterpiece!! I can’t wait to see more. Maybe a self-portrait or a protrait of Adam. I bet he would love it if you gifted him a picture of him šŸ™‚

    • Lacey @ Lake Life
      January 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm


    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      hahahahahaha šŸ™‚

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    January 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    You’re writing a book? šŸ™‚

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      yep! attempting to, anyway. It will be out next year!

  • karla
    January 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    i love the savannah tea room! my boyfriend’s family lives in savannah, and they have me hooked on the Brinn’s Cup Green tea from there.

  • Cara Craves...
    January 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    No need to be ashamed of your art, I think it looks fabulous!

  • Alexis
    January 17, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I love when you tell us what you’re reading! Everything you’ve recommended has been amazing. Have you ever heard of the website It’s this site where you can make lists of all the books you’ve read and want to read, and you can rate them on a 5 star system. It also has these really cool lists to browse for new ideas…I’m pretty much addicted to it.

  • Keely (Sky Blue)
    January 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I love this!! And I agree –pancakes for dinner is an AMAZING idea. I love making banana pancakes for my little brothers and sisters when I’m home for college and my parents are on a dinner date.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    January 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    haha, that picture is not nearly as bad as you made it sound!! Just call it abstract or cubism, and everyone will think it is fantastic.

    And if I had a taco cart by me, I would eat there a few times, too šŸ˜‰

  • Dynamics
    January 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I love your picture. To me they are more special. I have a blank wall, can I place an order and will you draw me a picture? Just curious if you are able to get books from the library for the kindle. Congrats on writing a book, I must have missed that. Is it a readable cookbook?

  • Laura Duggan
    January 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm


    Next time you are in SF, which I hope is soon!…you need to go to Miette and try their salted chocolate graham cracker cookies. I’m sure you’ve tried their Gingersnaps….but DO try both. Oh, and in case you haven’t seen this, you probably should put this on your fridge:

  • Jenn
    January 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    VERY impressed with the picture!! Really your first one! I’ll take stock now:)

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    January 17, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I think your artwork is fabulous! I would love to be able to paint. Stick figures don’t count. šŸ˜‰

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    January 17, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    That pancake…omg.

  • Floey
    January 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Oh wow, looking at that picture definitely makes me want to work with some pastels. You need to draw more!!! SO beautiful! I’d frame it, for sURE.

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged
    January 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I have a taco truck by my house and I’ve been trying to convince The Coach to try it with me once! It’s TOTALLY sketchy but for some reason I bet they have GREAT food.

  • Pam @ THC
    January 17, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I love when you write posts like this šŸ™‚

  • Eliz@The Sweet Life
    January 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    What a great list. I admire how you focus on getting beautiful things and good food into your life.

  • Justeen @ Blissful Baking
    January 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I REALLY want to eat from a taco truck now!!

  • rebecca lustig
    January 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    much better than i can ever paint. or draw. or probably photograph. enjoy the night!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    January 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Elizabeth Street was totally already on my library list for when I go to check out books tomorrow – glad to hear it’s good! I’m excited to read it.

    I think your picture is good – far better than I could ever produce! šŸ™‚

  • Kay, The Church Cook
    January 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Jenna, I am ordering Emperor’s bride tea directly from Finland, so I will send you some too when the shipment arrives! It’s pretty addicting, isn’t it? And you paint? OK, tell me what you can’t do! šŸ™‚

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm

      oooooo yummy!!!! that tea is amazing!

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence
    January 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Historical novels are my favoriiite.

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    January 17, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Up next you’ll be illustrating pictures to go along with your book. You know it’s coming šŸ˜‰
    I kindly request a pastel picture of the taco truck. I think it’s necessary.

  • Luyi
    January 17, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Number 3: the grammar, flow, and logic would be much more coherent if you wrote

    “Iā€™d be lying if told you that Adam and I haven’t eaten mini tacos […]”


  • Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef
    January 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    can i just say that i love your book recommendations?? amazing!

  • Marie-Journey to Body Zen
    January 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Beautiful artwork! šŸ™‚

  • linda
    January 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    i was wondering where you got your iron teapot?

    • jenna
      January 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      Miravel Spa in Arizona. I love it!

  • notyet100
    January 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    artwork looks so pretty,..

  • Christine (The Raw Project)
    January 17, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Great list and beautiful art, but I’m having a hard time getting past the s’more pic. šŸ™‚

  • Coco
    January 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I love your pastel work–except the first thing I thought of when I scrolled down and saw it was “VAGINA!”

    • Becky
      January 18, 2011 at 2:14 am

      Ha! My husband thought the same thing. šŸ™‚

  • britt
    January 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    those pancakes look absolutely amazing! and nice job on the art work šŸ˜‰

  • Maria
    January 17, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Those pancakes are making me drool!

  • Raya @ RayaRuns
    January 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Love your little drawing. It reminds me of a little acrylic paint kit and brush set I bought from Michaels like a year and a half ago and never opened. I think I bought it hoping for some creative inspiration or art therapy or something. I guess I should get on that…

  • Amanda
    January 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    lol, pastels are fun!

  • Emmy (Wine and Butter)
    January 18, 2011 at 2:00 am

    I know Im really late on commenting here BUT the only reason I didnt visit your blog yesterday because I was so caught up in the best book Ive read in a while ‘The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’ – Maggie O’Farrell. SO DARN GOOD! for reals. I totally loved it and its a bit historical and stuff for ya as well – its about a woman taken into a psychiatric ward in the 1930’s Edinbrough (totally not how you spell that!) despite not being crazy, only independent minded. Anyhoots – recommendation for you!
    On another note if you are ever seeking recipe inspiration I would LOVE your best lemon poppyseed trick! xox

  • BeePieRuns
    January 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Oh, I LOOOOVE Emperor’s Bride Tea. My sister in law got me hooked on that stuff several years ago.
    Another good one is Rooibos Sweet Amore from Teavana.
    By the way, I made your Parmesan Chicken with a Twist the other night and boy was it a hit! I would never have thought to add pepperoni – yum!

    • jenna
      January 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm

      awesome! Glad you liked the chicken!