Layered Asian Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Layered Asian Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing | coffeeandquinoa.com

The final wedding countdown is on! 12 days, you guys. TWELVE DAYS.

Nate and I were in Atlanta this weekend at our friends Sara and Anthony’s wedding. Sara and I got engaged right around the same time, and were checking with each other as we planned our weddings to make sure we picked different dates. So all year, I’ve known that we were flying to Atlanta for their wedding, and then ours would be just around the corner. Being there this weekend made our wedding seem SO REAL!

Not to mention the fact that they had the most beautiful wedding ever. It was at her parents’ house (an old horse farm), very Southern rustic, very DIY. It was absolutely perfect, and I can only hope I’ll look half as overjoyed as I walk down the aisle as my lovely friend did! Except I know I’ll look terrified instead. I remember distinctly from my sister’s wedding the feeling of not being able to control my facial muscles as I walked down the aisle because I was so nervous. The chance of that happening at my own wedding is preeeetty much 100%. I will be clinging to my dad for dear life!

Layered Asian Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing | coffeeandquinoa.com

I was crossing my fingers that I’d be going through a quiet spell at work in the weeks leading up to the wedding, to give me a little spare time to take care of last-minute wedding details. Instead, pretty much the opposite is true. Isn’t that always the way things work? Everyone is being super understanding, and I’m trying to stay focused and not take advantage too much. Because of that, easy salads like this are going to be our best friends over the next week or so!

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Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Carrot Dip

Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Carrot Dip

So I’ve finally made the acquaintance of harissa. For the last year, I’ve seen other bloggers making delicious spicy recipes with this spice blend I’d never heard of. I kept vowing to try it… then returning to my lazy, familiar ways. But a little tub of it caught my eye at the farmer’s market on Martha’s Vineyard, and I knew I’d regret it if I procrastinated further. Plus, who doesn’t like to come home with some foodie souvenirs from their travels?

Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Carrot Dip

As it turns out, I probably should have left the harissa, because I spent my last cash on it. When Nate and I went to apply for our marriage license minutes later, neither of us had the $4 that it cost, thanks to his farmer’s market coffee and my harissa purchase. We actually had to ask my dad for $5 to apply for the license! Now there’s a story for our kids – Mommy and Daddy were so poor they couldn’t even afford to get married for $4. It’s kind of romantic, right? (We can leave out the part that Mommy had just paid more than that for a gourmet spice blend and Daddy was feeding his expensive latte habit.) That’ll teach me to walk past the ATM on my way out of the airport…

Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Carrot Dip

It was the harissa dip I sampled at the farmer’s market stand that put me over the edge towards buying it. That dip, made with yogurt and cream cheese, was nothing like this one, but I wanted to try out the harissa and carrot combination I’d seen all over the blogosphere. Also, Nate read The China Study while we were on the Vineyard, and he’s convinced me we should try to be a liiittle more vegan again. (Although I probably had you fooled with Monday’s recipe, which contained three types of dairy and an egg.) In any case, a carrot dip seemed like a good place to start with making a dent in my new tub of harissa.

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Grandma Jane’s Tomato Sandwiches

Grandma Jane's Tomato Sandwiches

I have a fun retro recipe for you today!

My grandma emailed me this recipe almost exactly a year ago, at the height of last year’s tomato season. She has an incredible garden, and her tomatoes were just getting ripe at the time. In typical fashion, I didn’t get around to it in time to take advantage of the season, and so it had to wait a year.

Grandma Jane's Tomato Sandwiches

Luckily, I came home from work last week with some insanely good tomatoes grown by my friend Andy. Will you look at those things?! All summer I’ve basically been living off veggies that Andy’s brought into work from his garden, but these tomatoes might be the best thing yet. They were perfect for getting the big, thick slices called for in this recipe, and I thought of it immediately. Better late than never.

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Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Oh guys, I am beyond predictable. I go on vacation for a week, then I come back and make you salads. Well, I come back and make me salads. And therefore you all get salads, too! So does Nate. Oops.

We just got back on Sunday night from a week on Martha’s Vineyard with my family. I’m usually ready to come back from vacations, but let me tell you, the Vineyard is one place I’ll never be ready to leave. I’m currently in the depths of the post-vacation blues and scheming up ways to retire early… any suggestions?

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