August 27, Day 239

For those living under a rock (or you know, not the East coast), Hurricane Irene is pummeling through and actin’ a damn fool. Since Charlottesville is on the outskirts of her wrath, it’s been raining all day. Luckily, it hasn’t been anything more than that and hopefully everyone is staying safe tonight. In preparation for the storm, I made sure that our bellies would be satiated and happy throughout the night.

First up, homemade soup – the Big Girl version. Having recently bought some stew meat from Wolf Creek Farm through Relay Foods and having a lot of beef stock in the freezer, it was time for some comfort food for a rainy afternoon. Again, I acted by intuition and not by recipe (because it’s more fun that way). I added essentially every vegetable I had in the fridge: onions, red peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes (technically a fruit?). Seasoning: garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. It sat for almost four hours on medium-low heat, until the meat was tender and falling apart. Verdict: it tasted like home, which is exactly what I was aiming for.

Next up (obviously) was dessert! My challenge for today was a No Bake Chocolate Cake. I’m going dairy-free and this involves heavy cream but meh! Life’s too short and there was a hurricane coming. That being said, at least I made sure that it was grass-fed heavy cream from Natural By Nature.

This was so decadent! I didn’t let it sit for long enough so it was still a bit soft but in my opinion it only added to the velvety flavor and texture. The chocolate-coffee combo blended with the richness of the cream is to die for. And it’s boyfriend-approved! Super easy to make!

Days 206, 208, 209

Do you ever have those days when you’ve got a thousand thoughts/ideas running through your head but can’t fully grasp a single one? That’s kind of how this week has been thus far. Quite frankly, I’m blaming it on coffee.

Spent Monday night at a coworker’s Good-bye get-together at a local bar. It really says something when you like hanging out with your coworkers outside of work; trust me, it’s miserable when that’s not the case.

No picture for Tuesday night because it completely slipped my mind but I had a delicious dinner with the ladies from CrossFit Charlottesville at a local burger joint.Ha, all my other friends must be sick of me talking about CrossFit but these girls understand!

Wednesdays are always long days but highly productive. It proves my theory that a person is far more productive the busiest days. Spent the evening talking photography with fellow photogs at the Charlottesville Photography Initiative’s Small Discussion Groups. For those unfamiliar with the group, it’s a great way to converse with other photographers and get inspired to try new things. The feedback you receive is priceless as they actually know what they’re talking about. I got home and made myself my favorite dessert as of late: canned coconut milk, frozen berries, and a drizzle of Barlean’s Chocolate Raspberry Swirl. Om nom.

Ah, sweet Thursdays. Thursdays are my days off and have become my mental rest days (not physical rest days). Went to the gym in the morning to complete Fran for the first time – wowza, that’s a killer. I can’t believe that there are people who can complete it RX in under two minutes (video). Spent the rest of the day reading, lounging and cooking (obviously). I’m making kale chips about once a week now and I think I’ve perfected the recipe (after several smoke alarm mishaps). I made two batches this afternoon and somehow managed to devour both by dinner (hey, a girl’s gotta eat).

Before and after.

Side note: while relaxing this afternoon, I thought I’d give the old pull-up bar a try and managed to get my first strict chin-up! I danced around for about a minute or two to celebrate.

Day 108

Seriously, who doesn’t love cookies?? These have become my favorite little snack – I’ve made two batches in the last week alone. Mmm, they go so well with coffee too!

Day 97

Behold my impromptu dessert for tonight! We don’t have much in the house in terms of chocolates/desserts so I had to come up with something from the ingredients we have. Blueberries, almonds, chocolate protein powder. A little dry but it satisfied the craving!

Day 90

To say that we love desserts here would be an understatement. Here’s one of Chris’ not-so-healthy creations. Two chocolate chip cookies with greek yogurt in the middle. I did not partake in the consumption of this entity. I don’t feel too badly about it – apparently “it looks better than it tastes.”

Day 74

Slight fever + achiness + rain = sad Jenni. Enter: chocolate pudding. Same recipe from Day 53 (recipe here). Went running this morning which was actually enjoyable despite the cold weather but then my symptoms kicked in. At least I have chocolate.

Day 53

Oh. My. God. I have discovered primal dessert GOLD. Chocolate pudding. We recently started a Whole30-esque lifestyle change and seeing how we’re big dessert people, we needed something to satiate our sweet-tooth. This is it. It’s the perfect little dessert. Simple. Easy. Delicious. Get the recipe here.