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April 2014

Quinoa with mushrooms and asparagus AKA: My final attempt at cooking with the ancient grain

I have always struggled with quinoa.  I want to like it, but every time I make it it just doesn't taste like I want it to.  Until today, that is.  

I was looking through the pantry and my eyes fell upon that lowly box of quinoa once again.  I thought what the heck...  I pulled it out and decided that if this recipe didn't turn out right, I would surrender to my palate and never, ever buy quinoa again.  

I am happy to say that I have finally found a way to eat quinoa that is not only passable, but it's delicious!  The quinoa gives this dish the nutty flavor and texture I was always searching for in quinoa and it also has two of my favorite ingredients: mushrooms and asparagus.

 I am very glad I stuck it out with this crazy grain because I know the health benefits of quinoa are quite awesome.  It's got a lot of protein and fiber which really do a body good.


Quinoa with Mushrooms and Asparagus

  • 3 cups fully cooked quinoa - I used an heirloom variety of Inca Red quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 cup chopped button mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh asparagus spears cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Black pepper to taste

Cook your quinoa according to the package directions.  Using a wok or large pan, cook the onions in the butter on medium for about 2 minutes until they are transparent.  Add the mushrooms and asparagus and toss to coat in the onion/butter mixture.  Cook over medium for about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and toss to mix.  Heat it through.  Add the soy sauce and pepper and serve!

I took the liberty of posting this one before serving it to my family because I am just so excited to have FINALLY found a quinoa recipe that I like!


Toasted angel food cake parfait: Part of the All Things Easter fabulous blog roundup and GIVEAWAY!

I am very excited to be amongst a bunch of AWESOME blogging ladies for this blog roundup and giveaway that is about All Things Easter hosted by Colleen of Souffle Bombay and Heather of Real:The Kitchen and Beyond!  We all got together to bring you a huge array of wonderful Easter ideas you can use this year and save for years to come.  

With just 6 days left until Easter, many of us are planning what to serve or bring to the big dinner, as well as how to decorate and add the extra touches that make our holidays memorable.  From Jelly Bean Trees to a Giant Deviled Egg, we’ve got you covered!  To make this even more memorable we have some amazing giveaways as well from John Boos (crafter of incredible cutting boards, butcher blocks and more) , The Spice House (THE online source for incredible spices), Wilton Armetale (maker of both beautiful & finctional serving ware), Divine Chocolates (a fair trade, farmer-owned chocolate company) & The Tree Hut (natural body products that do what they say) for a few lucky readers! 

Follow along via #AllThingsEaster on social media this week and visit our Pinterest Board All Things Easter for more ideas.  

My recipe is a very simple one using a store bought angel food cake to save time.  Of course, you can make your own cake. But with everything we all have going on this time of year I found it easier to just grab an angel food cake from my local grocery store's bakery.  

To give it a personal touch, I sliced a few pieces and toasted them to make this beautiful Toasted Angel Food Cake Parfait.  Toasting gives it a nice burnt sugar taste, which I love.

ParfaitToasted Angel Food Cake Parfait

  • 4 thick slices of angel food cake- toasted
  • 1 8oz brick of cream cheese- softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple or 1/2 can crushed pineapple- drained
  • Assorted mixed berries ( I used strawberries and blackberries)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Cut the toasted angel food cake into bite size chunks and set aside.  Put the cream cheese in your mixer and mix at medium speed until it is soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and vanilla and mix on low until the sugar is thoroughly incorporated.  Stir in the pineapple.

Layer the cake, cream cheese mixture, and berries in 4 see-through glasses ending with either a dollop of the cream cheese mixture or a squirt of whipped cream.  

 And here are all the other fantastic ideas from my blogging friends!  Don't forget to check them all out and enter the FABULOUS giveaway!  There are two prizes (Prize pack #1 and Prize pack #2)

One of you will win this amazing Signature Spice Box Set from the Spice House (wait till you try the Vulcan's Fire Salt!) as well as this incredibly gorgeous John Boos Maple Cutting Board with has handles! Swoon! 1403693_10203658481492278_6553401025931912450_o

And one of you will win a delicious Bakers Spice Box from The Spice House (the Chicago Sugar will change your life!), this gorgeous set of decadent chocolates from Divine Chocolate (chocolates!!) this beautiful Flutes & Pearls Egg Tray from Wilton Armetale (they have such pretty pieces) and an awesome Tree Hut Duo of Shea Sugar Scrub and Body Lotion - (time to pamper yourself)! 1939921_10203658667776935_5008164931159461440_o


Ideas for Leftover Easter Eggs

Giant Deviled Egg | Souffle Bombay

Easter Breakfast Recipe Ideas

Pretzel Tours - An Alternative to Easter Egg Hunts | Homeroom At Home

We would like to give a huge thank you to the companies that made this give away possible. Thank you to John Boos for the beautiful maple cutting board, The Spice House for their spice and baking gift sets, Divine Chocolate for their luxuriously rich Fair Trade Chocolate gift basket, Wilton Armetale for the elegant egg plate, and Tree Hut for the body scrub and lotion.

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