Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Have You Tried The Quinoa?

Between having a mother who is gluten-free and working with a few vegetarian nutritionists, I kept hearing about quinoa.  It's a grain-like crop grown in the Andes regions of  South America.  It is cooked in a manner similar to rice and is very high in protein and fiber. 

Last night I made quinoa for the first time.  I'm not sure why I have been hesitant to try this, but whatever the cause I finally broke down and did it.  Probably because I found it in the bulk section at EarthFare and could purchase just enough to make one batch rather than having to buy a whole box or bag; only to find out my family wouldn't eat it.

I started out simple.  1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water.  Boiled for 15 minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Fluffed with a fork.  Served up with broiled salmon and steamed broccoli.  And it was delicious!!

Next time, when serving as a side dish, I might make about 1/2 the amount.  We had a lot leftover.  But I did find out that chickens also enjoy quinoa!  :)

I look forward to trying it in some recipes for the summer months.  I've already spotted a few quinoa salad recipes I want to give a go.  And I plan to use it in some dishes I usually make with cooked rice. 

Do you ever cook with quinoa?  What are your favorite quinoa recipes?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stocking The Pantry

I am thinking about the benefits of buying certain items in bulk.  I already enjoy stocking up on things when I find a good sale/coupon combination.  But now I seriously find myself considering buying larger quantities of some staples to keep on hand.  Items such as rice and flour.  Maybe some dried beans.  Things which I plan to start using on a regular basis. 

As is often the case, I get a brainstorm and think it will be simple to undertake.  And instead discover how much research and planning actually has to go int to it.  I started to consider this plan, only to be faced with the stark realization of my own ignorance.  For starters - are these types of things truly "non-perishable"?  And if not, how long is the average shelf life of these sort of pantry staples? 

I also have to carefully weigh the potential benefit with the possible risk of protecting these items from those annoying tiny little ants which occasionally like to invade my home during the summer months.  Which means a well planned out line of defense in my storage of these bulk purchased delights.

So, I present the questions to you: 

Do you purchase any staple items in bulk form? 
If so, what?
How do you store them to best protect them from creepy crawlies and the elements?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fun and Fluffy FlipFlops

I made myself a pink pair of these flipflops, and now I can't stop! So soft and fluffy, they can double as slippers!

Available at Queen B's Busy Work:

Rosette Headband

The Princess talked me into purchasing this delicate pink yarn.  And it felt as if it just cried out to be made into a soft girly rose for a hair accessory.

Available at Queen B's Busy Work:

Girl's White Daisy Headband

In case you can't tell... I am big on daisies right now.  Maybe it's because if the grand kid had been a girl he would have been our little Daisy.  Or maybe because they just seem like summer to me.  Whatever the reason, I'm hooking out daisy accessories left and right!

Monday, April 9, 2012

It's In The Bag

A couple of years ago when I decided to get the clothes line, I also very easily obtained clothespins and a bag to hold them at the same time.  So, I didn't even blink an eye when the clothespin bag grew weary and split apart last year.  Easy enough to replace.  Right? 

Wrong.  For some reason those little bags are harder to find than the Loch Ness monster!  Which set me upon a months long search for a replacement.  And ended here.

When you can't find what you are looking for - make it!!

I took a cloth place mat, folded it not-quite-in-half, sewed up the sides.  Folded the longer side over a plastic hanger, and sewed that in place. 

Voila, a simple yet quite cute (in my opinion) - and very handy - clothespin bag!  At a fraction of what a new one would cost.  
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