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Posts Tagged ‘Quinoa’

Many, many years ago I was invited to a neighbor’s house to celebrate Boxing Day.  I thought this was a bit odd since I wasn’t a servant and I didn’t have any servants.  I was soon introduced to an Americanized version of Boxing Day.  The premise here was to bring a gift all wrapped up that was actually something you had previously received as a gift and either a) you didn’t want it because b) it was ugly or useless.  Oh there were really some strange and odious gifts exchanged that day.  The gift-giving was done in the manner of a Yankee Swap;  You picked a gift and you kept it or traded it.  Well, anyway that’s how that Boxing day went down.

This is how we began Boxing Day this year!  We were all tired from the late night of Christmas Eve and the long day of Christmas night so everyone slept just a little bit later on Thursday morning.  But right after breakfast without any formal plan set, it just began to unfold….The day after Christmas could only mean one thing!  We MUST CLEAN!  Perhaps it is some genetic pre-disposition or familial personality disorder, whatever it is, this is what happened.

Joel got the vacuum cleaner out and he began vacuuming  the rugs, I took out the swifter and did the kitchen floor and the hallways and the foyer.  I used about 6 swifter pads;  There has been a horde of people going inside and out, through the garage, in from the pool and all about.  The house was recently renovated and all the floors  are now a white-washed wood and the swifter did its thing over and over again.  I left piles for Joel to swoop up with the vacuum.   Meanwhile, Chiara packed up gifts and swept up pine needles.  I tackled the stairs next and was quite pleased to see the white of the treads re-appear.  Elsewhere, dishes were washed, clothes washed and folded and the dishwasher emptied.  It was a glorious morning, the house had been reclaimed and restored to its pristine beauty and we had taken on Boxing Day and given it an Italian twist.

There would be a Yankee Swap later that night after dinner.  But first we had to do some preparing for tonight’s party. Oh yes, there WOULD be a party tonight, albeit not quite so large as yesterday but this one would be here!  Only 15 adults and 6 kids.  Chiara decided to make several baking dishes of Eggplant Parmesan, we would serve the pork loin left over from Christmas Eve and make a big salad and a bowl of quinoa.

Susan and JR were coming for dinner with their 3 boys, the youngest is Hunter who is a classmate of Finley’s.  Susan brought a huge spiral cut ham and it’s a darn good thing she did since the pork loin did not cook through and we couldn’t serve it pink and cool.  This party spread itself out through the house!  We had kids (big and little) watching Elf and a couple other Christmas movies, adults out on the veranda, a couple of us in the dining room dishing on everything and everybody, Finley and a couple of the boys had a bow and arrows and were shooting at the front door and lots of wine drunk in all the rooms.

JR took the boys home, eventually both the girls went to bed and the die-hard game players gathered round in the living room to play some games.  Joel had gone out with Chiara in the afternoon to buy some new games.  Tonight we were going to play Quelf and Loaded Questions.  We are hardcore, laughing, yelling, arguing and all the time playing to win!  The wine kept flowing, there was some other mind-altering substances and as they say, “Let the games begin”!  Quelf was hysterical as we watched Joel stand and try not to bend his arms and legs, Dennis had to sit on his hands, Justin did the color for a basketball game in the voice of a parrot as well as mind-bending tasks, some which were subject to group analysis.  Overall one might observe it as familial blood-letting!

Loaded Questions is an adventure in delving into your fellow players psyche.  Since I’ve already portrayed our family as the crazy bunch they truly are, you can only imagine how this game was played!  I’d love to tell you about it but like the New York Times only all the news that’s fit to print.  And on that note I think it’s time to close the chapter on Boxing Day with the Bertis/Clarks/Presses and Pucci’s came to an end.

Except for the Yankee Swap which was wildly funny as the swapping, trading, stealing took place.  Those that participated seemed to have a grand time and I think perhaps the $50 bill was the prize of the evening!

English: Gift ideas for men - wrapping paper e...

English: Gift ideas for men – wrapping paper example. Please source http://www.giftideasformen.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Today as compared to yesterday was fairly calm.  This morning Chiara, Fletcher and I drove the girls to school and then Fletcher went to the doctor’s office for his one week old check in.  He gained 10 ounces!  That’s a lot of nursing going on here!  Pediatrician said, take him outside, let him get some Vitamin D and he skillfully removed the last of belly button thing, you know it’s part of the umbilical  cord!  I’ve had two babies but I never wanted to deal with that and was fortunate enough to have my Grandma Schmidt stay with me once the babies were born and she took care of “that”.  When the doctor asked Chiara if she wanted that piece, I looked at him as if he were crazy.  However, it must be me who is so out of the loop!   I asked: “What do they do with it”? He said they put it in the baby book!  Ay yi yi!  A dark brown dried-up body part in the baby book!

By the time we got home, the first visitor of the day was in the driveway.  She’s the one who baked the delicious cake.  While Chiara chatted, Frankie decided sitting on my lap with Mommy’s iPad was a grand idea.  The fact that I was trying to type the previous blog seemed to be of absolutely no concern of hers.  

I have been trying for two days to get Belle’s recipe for Quinoa written down.  It has proven to be impossible even with the Translate app and the Voice Search app.  Many times the Voice Search does not hear my words correctly and you can’t believe what comes out!  Shallots came back in Spanish as a shower. Pretty much the way the auto-fill auto-complete feature on my cell phone sends messages complete with non-sequitors (if I don’t read what I wrote before I hit send).  So finally Belle went to the cabinet, grabbed the bag of quinoa and motioned for me to come and watch her so I would know how to make this dish.   It worked!  I wrote down what she was doing and hopefully I got it all right so I can recreate this tasty side dish.  Once I am home and I make it, if it comes out right, I’ll post the recipe.

 When Finley arrived home, she came with 3 kids and another Mom.  The decibel level rose at least 10 degrees!  One of the many gifts that arrived today was a box with two Princess costumes!  They were so pretty and it was very thoughtful of Tara to include the girls with presents because she sent Fletcher gifts.  As soon as the girls saw them they wanted to  put their own  on and the other’s.  You know where this is going,,,,pretty soon two girls are crying and the dresses gp upstairs to their bedroom and their 3 friends are playing and running around in the midst of it all.   

It’s now 9:00pm;  Tom has yet to come home from work.  The girls ate dinner before we did and had baths and books and went to bed.  Fletcher had his first bath tonight.  Belle bathed him talking and cooing to him in Spanish the whole time while she washed him.  By then Chiara laid down on the bed holding him in her arms to settle him down and of course she was the one who settled down, exhausted from getting up during the night and on the go since 7am this morning.  So as I write this she’s been sleeping for over an hour now.  That left Belle and I – so I said let’s eat.  The two of sat at the table enjoying her lentils with some rice and the quinoa.  It was so peaceful at the table, just two adults trying to talk in two different languages.  

It must be time for me to play a little Scrabble online and maybe Words of Wonder (don’t ask) ! 

Quinoa

Quinoa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I considered posting a picture of a baby with the “stump” still on the belly button but I was grossing myself out!

 

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Cooked Quinoa (C. quinoa) seeds

Cooked Quinoa

TASTY TIDBITS  TUESDAY

First I had to learn how to pronounce it, then how to cook it and then I found a LOT of Quinoa recipes.  This delicious, heart-healthy, natural starch is gaining in popularity.  Quite frankly, I don’t know why I’ve never made it before.  It’s on this diet I’m trying to follow and so I decided to buy some and see what would come of it. Just in case you don’t know what I didn’t know, it’s pronounced Keen-Wah.

Although not a common item in most kitchens today, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. .

Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient “grain” once considered “the gold of the Incas.”

Food Chart

2 1/2  cups cooked quinoa

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 red pepper, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 cup black beans (optional)

2 TBS fresh parsley

1 TBS olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

Zest of one lemon

4-6 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

4 oz crumbled feta (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pine nuts for 4 minutes

Combine cooked quinoa, red pepper, red onion, black beans (if using), and parsley and pine nuts.

In a small bowl combine minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and red pepper.  Stir in olive oil.  Toss dressing with quinoa mixture.  Top with feta cheese.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe from Savvy Vegetarian

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