Friday, August 14, 2009

Cheers to my so-called bourgeois life

Husband is back from a long stressful business trip. Now that he'll once more be a full-time student he won't be traveling again for a good long while.

And everything will be right in the universe.

Have a most delightful weekend! I'm looking forward to Julie & Julia, a coconut snowie, no alarm clock, a massage, a bridal luncheon, a summer nights stay in Park City, and perhaps even a Sunday afternoon picnic in the park. Too bad it won't be on the island of La Grande Jatte. Ever felt like a figure from a Seurat painting? From a distance everything seems in perfect order, yet there is no shape or form to any one thing. This weekend is about standing back to bring it all into focus. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sometimes I cook too

I purchased a giant bag of Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) at Costco recently and have since been experimenting with this curious little grain. One night I threw in everything I had on hand, including fresh figs, and came up with the recipe below. BD and I both loved it and licked the bowl completely. I've made it several times since, each time improving upon the last. The recipe is now ready for the court of public opinion. Trust me, the fresh figs really make it groovy. I crave it. This salad is light and healthy with a perfect balance of carbs, healthy fat, and calories. Did I mention that it's delicious too?
Quinoa Salad with Fresh Fig
Servings: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 dozen grape tomatoes, quartered
6 whole fresh figs, diced
1 big handful baby spinach, chopped
1/4 cup raw cashews, roasted and roughly chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 ounces goat cheese, to taste, crumbled
Salt and pepper

Begin cooking quinoa according to package directions. Even though the bag says "pre-washed" be sure to rinse thoroughly before cooking. You never know. In a small skillet over medium heat slowly roast cashews until warm and barely browning. Combine grape tomatoes, figs, spinach, and cashews in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Toss ingredients to evenly distribute the oil and seasoning. Add the cooked quinoa and crumbled goat cheese. The goat cheese melts almost instantly and makes the salad just slightly rich and creamy. Add as much or as little as you'd like. Although, if you're looking for a lighter version, this salad is perfectly delicious without the cheese. Add lemon juice instead.

I really love it when my food is this colorful, don't you? Now...plate, serve, devour. Or better yet, bottle some up and deliver to a dear friend. XOXO
P.S. if you try it, let me know!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sweet Treats

Seems I've taken a little vacation from baking this past while partly because I hold a permanent grudge against my 30 year old oven and partly because I've felt uninspired overall, especially in the kitchen. Unexplainable really. Let's call it a phase and try to move on shall we?A good friend from a former job asked me to make desserts for her son's wedding luncheon this past week. It was just what I needed to reignite a smoldering passion threatening to drown itself in a sea of sprinkles. Fortunately my sister was willing to stable my anxiety and able to help with the job. I pretty much lack the ability to pull this stuff together without her. Something about not wanting to ruin any one's wedding day or anything. She doesn't sweat the small stuff like I do which is why we make a good team. The spread included Chocolate Cake Lollipops, Gingerbread Key Lime Tarts, and Mini Coconut Cupcakes.

...was good to get my fingers sticky again.