Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch

Wine, Chocolate and Texas Hold ‘Em

Hi friends!

I’m so glad you all enjoyed the first installment of ELR Wine 101!!! Obviously it was just the total tip of the iceberg but hopefully it will inspire you to explore some new stuff! Its funny, even though I have had a *little* training in wine, when I get around someone that REALLY knows their stuff, I feel like I know nothing! There’s just so much to know and explore….its really endless. But that’s what is so interesting and cool about it all!

This morning I ran tons of errands….got some jeans altered, returned some pants from The Limited, bought another Lindt Fleur de Sel bar from the chocolate shop. You know, the obvious. Seriously though, those bars are so good I couldn’t help myself!


For lunch today I made the Middle Eastern Salad from this month’s issue of Cooking Light. It involved some prep work but was oh so worth it! i honestly don’t mind the chopping, dicing and sauteing though. To me, that’s relaxation. I love chopping vegetables in the quiet of my own kitchen. The smells and tastes of different ingredients all forming together to make one stellar meal…amazing.

The salad was comprised of sauteed eggplant (heck yeah for the big bag from Costco!), roasted red peppers and a spicy sauce made from fresh tomatoes, garlic and spices. And obviously, it was bett-a with feta! 😉


On the side, I had a warm whole wheat pita with hummus and a delicious ripe peachie!



Twas a lovely and tasty meal! Definitely make this salad, but give yourself about 45 minutes to do so! 😉

After I digested I hit the gym for a 25 minute cardio sess on the stairmaster, which I have a love-hate relationship with. It was okay though because I was thoroughly absorbed in my “California Wine for Dummies” book. hahaha

Post-workout snack was a Snickers bar—-



Around 5:30 my dad and I went for a glass of wine at a local wine bar. Since the wine of the day is white, I picked a new white I had never heard of before to try!


It was the Domaine Schlumberger Riesling from Alsace, France and it was awesome! Typically German Rieslings are the sweet ones and those from France and the Pacific Northwest are more dry. This did not disappoint. It honestly wasn’t sweet at all and had lovely melon notes in it. My dad tasted mine and loved it so much he ordered it as well!

I LOVE trying new wines I haven’t heard of before. Its a great way to experiment and see what you like and don’t like. I’ve tried random wines at wine bars before that I loved so much that I went immediately out and bought at Total Wine. Plus, it makes for good conversation when you are with dinner guests! 🙂

As my dad went to pick up my mom from the airport, I walked home (we were right across the street) and heated up what I had been looking forward to all night long!!



Pizza, pizza, PIZZA! Somehow it tasted even better than last night and I eagerly gobbled down the remaining three slices of my mini goat cheese pizza. The bad part about not having a microwave is that you have to demonstrate self-control and wait until your pizza heats up in the oven!

Dessert was the obvious—


Ryan is teaching me to be a pro at Texas Hold ‘Em because apparently we are playing in Healdsburg. I beat him last night!! 😉

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  • simpledaisy
    July 13, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Hi there…
    That pizza looks super yummy!!! I think it’s fun to try new wines too! You never know what you’re going to find that you really like! I have some favorites but I am always up for giving a new one a whirl! Take care and your lunch looked awesome too~

  • Jen, a priorfatgirl
    July 13, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Your salad looks SPLENDID!!! Can you believe it, I’ve never had eggplant. Must.Try.Today!

    Have fun playin’ Texas Hold Em! Sounds like a great date night, all cozied up at home!

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    July 13, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Awww – what a fun day!! I’m like you – I love dicing and chopping my heart out. It’s so satisfying!

  • Maria
    July 13, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Oooh, I’ve been meaning to get that chocolate bar. Sounds so good!!

    That is an awesome lunch. Haha, I see you’re still loving the Costco produce? Mmmm warm pita bread + hummus = total delish!

    Sometimes the leftovers are even yummier, and I guess that applies to that gorgeous pizza 😀

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn
    July 13, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Hey Jenna!

    I have one of those green bars in my cabinet.. and I’m waiting fo the right moment to crack into that bad boy. I’ll never turn down anything covered in chocolate (grasshoppers?) so I hope I like it!

    And I agree, feta does make everything betta 🙂


    p.s. rooting for you this weekend!

  • Megan (Runner's Kitchen)
    July 13, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I’m eating a Jenna inspired salad right now – hummus, cottage cheese, and hot sauce over romaine lettuce, yum! Glad to see you picked up the essentials a.k.a. dark chocolate!

  • Elizabeth
    July 13, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Got any leftovers from lunch to share?? 😉 Looks fabulous!

  • VeggieGirl
    July 13, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Lindt is worthy 😀

  • Nicole
    July 13, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I’m not usually a chocolate person, but I need to try that!

  • Elizabeth
    July 13, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Haha, Jenna! I always say I have a love/hate relationship with the Stairmaster. It’s nice to know someone else feels that way too. That machine kicks your butt but don’t you just feel great afterwards? 🙂

  • Hangry Pants
    July 13, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I think those bars taste like chocolate covered figs. I heart them. 😀

  • Mel
    July 13, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    The combo of sea salt and chocolate sounds heavenly… I am definitely going to have to go on a hunt for that!

  • brandi
    July 13, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    i need to find that chocolate bar! it sounds so, so good. I love the combo of salt + chocolate.

    yay for texas hold ’em! We love playing poker 🙂

  • Help Meghan Run
    July 13, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I love Texas Hold Em’! And girls definitely have an advantage because guys assume we don’t know how to play. 🙂


  • K
    July 13, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I love sweet/salty combination so that chocolate sounds great! I used to make a salty chocolate chip cookie – so good 🙂

  • Matt
    July 13, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I actually always heat my pizza up in the oven. I like it crispy!

  • Rebecca
    July 13, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    That salad looks great! I love Cooking Light! I love your “snickers” bar! 🙂

  • Deva
    July 13, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I so want to try that chocolate bar 🙂 I love new and creative chocolates! 🙂

  • Kelly
    July 13, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Your Middle Eastern Salad looks amazing! I also have been enjoying your new found love of costco! I have been going there since I was young and I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated their deals until now!

  • MarathonVal
    July 13, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I used to be infatuated with Cooking Light – but I stop getting it because as a vegetarian/vegan it’s not worth it since I can’t make all of the recipes. But I swear, ALL of the baked goods that I have made and that I get the most compliments for have come from CL!!

  • Betsy
    July 13, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I remember back in high school when my guy taught me Texas Hold Em and then I played with him and his friends and beat them all (not really knowing what I was doing). Then he didn’t ask me to play anymore. 🙂

  • Emily (A Nutritionist Eats)
    July 13, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I have been looking for that chocolate because it sounds perfect…I did see a bacon-chocolate bar at the store yesterday but passed on that one…. 🙂

  • Julia
    July 13, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    That chocolate sounds delish, I’m going to look for it next time I go to the store.
    If you ever get a chance you should try a Michigan Riesling or any Michigan wine in general. We have a handful of fabulous wineries, in the upper parts of the state mostly, that produce really impressive and award winning wines, especially Rieslings (were on the 45th parallel which is I believe where most of the rieslings are grown). I love a good riesling with spicy Thai food! If you’d like I can email you a list of some Michigan Rieslings I’ve tried and enjoyed.

  • leslie
    July 13, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    must remember to buy that chocolate! that salad looks like perfection. mediterranean and middle eastern flavors are definitely my favorite in summer.

  • Samantha
    July 13, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Yay. After your wine post today, I ran out and bought a Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling and a Sauv blanc!! I was also looking for your Lindt sea salt chocolate because that sounds sooo good. I couldn’t find it, but I did pick up the World Market brand version. MMMMMM. Thank you for mentioning this flavor!! It’s delicious. I love salt and chocolate together.

  • Erin
    July 13, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Quite simply, goat cheese pizza is da bomb.

    I love that you and Dad go for a glass o vino together. Love that.

  • Jocelyn@ProjectBWord
    July 13, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    mmm that pizza looks yumm-o! I think a goatcheese pizza will be my weekend treat this weekend 😉

  • Whitney
    July 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I did love your wine post. I found it very informative, thanks!

  • Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now
    July 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    That chocolate sounds good– I love sweet and salty tastes together!

  • runjen
    July 13, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I am obsessed with that chocolate bar! Absolutely delicious.

  • Colette
    July 13, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Had some Pinot Gris with dinner tonight in honor of your earlier post! And I HAVE to try that chocolate bar!!!

  • Island Girl Eats
    July 13, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    I am going to have to look out for that chocolate. I am very intrigued! Sea salt and chocolate? Sounds interesting!

  • Pru
    July 13, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Wow, all the food looks so good!

    I really enjoyed your wine segment – I’ve recently committed myself to try to learn more about wine and figure out what I really like. I’m sure you’ll be a great help! 🙂

  • Aoife
    July 13, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Jenna,I know you got rid of the microwave to make more space…but I was wondering is it also for health reasons as well as energy/environment?
    Just curious cause a bunch of people I have talked to lately refuse to use a microwave or seem to be getting rid of theirs…..and I am considering it too…I have never felt good about microwaving food and drinks from a health standpoint.

  • Gab*
    July 13, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    The salad you had for lunch looks delicious! I love middle eastern food. So nice to spend some quality time with your Dad like that, bet he appreciated the company with your Mum out of town.

  • Donna
    July 13, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    FYI, I looked for Murphy-Goode wines at my local wine store in Michigan and was told they’re not sold here.

    I just read the details about the job: The job offer: a six-month marketing position at the Murphy-Goode Winery in Healdsburg. But what a six months. The new hire will earn $10,000 a month, plus lodging in a private home. The short-term job assignment: explore the Sonoma County wine country, sample hundreds of wines and work with the company’s winemaker on a commemorative bottle of your experience. And use social media like Twitter and Facebook to tweet, blog and otherwise create buzz about the winery.

    So it’s not a permanent job. I guess I missed that part. No wonder Ryan isn’t upset about you leaving…it’s only for 6 months. . I’ve also noticed that 3 of the 10 finalists are women; 7 are men.

  • eatlivetravelwrite
    July 13, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Mmmm – fleur de sel!! (I like the packaging much more when it says that – “a touch of sea salt” doesn’t have the same ring!!)

  • Linda
    July 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Well, I love your wine 101 class! I am wanting to learn about wines little by little and am a total newbie. Your lessons are perfect and I thank you!

  • Kathy (Moving Beyond Perfection)
    July 13, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Good job with the stairmaster! I am definitely so scared of that machine too. Everytime I read about Kath going on the stairmaster for X number of minutes, I am blown away because I can’t imagine staying on there for more than 10! 🙂 Anyway, love that dark chocolate!

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    July 13, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Wow, that lunch so good and refreshing. YUM! And totally loving that “Snickers” bar. Haha, that’s my kind of Snickers!

    Good luck on the Texas Hold’em. My brothers taught me how to play a few years back and have regretted ever since – I turned out to be quite the poker player! 😉

  • Caroline
    July 14, 2009 at 12:14 am

    What a fabulous salad! Now I am craving eggplant.

  • Christie @ Quit Your Diet
    July 14, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Wow! Gorgeous eats!!

    I have a love hate relationship with the stairmaster, too. It is tough while on it and I sweat like crazy but I always feel great afterwards.

  • Katrina (gluten free gidget)
    July 14, 2009 at 7:42 am

    I’m not good at playing the cards in Texas Hold ‘Em, but I rock at playing the people! My hubby has me sit with him and tell him who is bluffing! hahahaha

  • Stacy (Eating To Live Love Laugh Tri)
    July 14, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I always feel so relaxed when I am in the kitchen chopping and dicing as well. Cooking is just so therapuetic.

  • Sarah
    July 14, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Ah, I hope someday I can beat my husband at Texas Hold ‘Em, he’s too good, haha. But I do beat him at some other card games, so there is hope 😉

  • maggie b
    July 14, 2009 at 8:56 am

    DELISH eats! reheat your pizza on the stove, it is so much quicker and still keeps the crust crispy!!! towards the end of its cooking i put a lid over the fry pan so that the ingredients get warm quick.

  • cali
    July 14, 2009 at 9:17 am

    hi jenna,

    i’m enjoying your wine posts and i have a book recommendation for you. it’s called the billionaire’s vinegar by benjamin wallace and it’s about the world’s most expensive bottle of wine.

  • Cait (Cait's Plate)
    July 14, 2009 at 9:22 am

    That pizza looks even better the second night! And I actually found myself looking for that chocolate bar because your blog has made me crave them so much! 🙂

  • Andee (Runtolive)
    July 14, 2009 at 9:27 am

    That salad looks amazing! I have never tried eggplant before, what would be the best way to cook it? Thanks again for the wine lesson. Have a great day!

  • Tay
    July 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    haha I have no self control when it comes to that stuff. I’d stick it in the oven, and probably take it out when it was still half cold. Give me pizza or give me….cold pizza!!

  • Katherine
    July 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    I’m going to have to hunt around for that sea salt version of the Lindt bar. I usually enjoy the dark chocolate one with dried pear — very subtle and yummy!