Blueberry Kale Stem Smoothie

Blueberry Kale Stem Smoothie | coffeeandquinoa.com

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Are you just giddy with excitement for mashed potatoes and stuffing? I know I am. Also, I’m giddy about sharing these delicious smoothies with you! But before we get to these slurps of healthy goodness, let;s talk books for a minute.

I just finished reading Gone Girl and it was SO good. I picked it up in the airport last week and pretty much didn’t put it down. When I started reading, I was worried it would be too scary for me – I’m a total wimp when it comes to thrillers of any kind – but it’s not your typical crime novel. I mean, it’s definitely creepy, but it really draws you in. It’s one of those books that is just ALL you can think about until you pick it up again. No spoilers, but on Sunday night I actually dreamed that I was on the run from the law after committing a crime. Nick and Amy are invading my brain!

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Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad | coffeeandquinoa.com

Thank you for all your sweet comments on Monday’s post! I loved reliving our wedding day through sharing it with you. There are more photos to come, but first I thought we could use some food to tide us over.

I was up early before work last week, making this salad for a Thanksgiving potluck, when it hit me: now it feels like the holidays. I never, ever cook before work – oatmeal or a smoothie is my max! – so it’s a rare occasion that I’m shredding sprouts before my morning cup of coffee. (Should I have kept that to myself so you’d think I’m a super dedicated blogger who whips up blog recipes in the wee hours? Oops.) In real life, morning cooking is limited to the holidays, when there’s so much food to cook and so little time. Such was certainly the case last week! Somehow, slicing kale at an ungodly hour of the morning felt like something special, and I was suddenly ready for all December’s festivities. Isn’t it nice that raw vegetables can put me in the holiday spirit?!

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Spinach Salad with Strawberry Jam Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Jam Vinaigrette | coffeeandquinoa.com

Maybe I’m being too sensitive, but I feel repeatedly insulted by my dry cleaner.

It’s not just the prices, although those are absurd. It’s only recently that I started buying clothes (read: silk blouses) that I can’t just throw in my trusty Dryel bag to “dry clean,” and it’s hard to stomach more than $10 to clean a piece of clothing I already paid too much for.

But no, it’s the tags they attach to my clothing that get under my skin.

“It is our professional opinion that this stain cannot be removed.” That was attached to one of my blouses a few weeks ago, inducing immediate panic. I searched it high and low for a stain – I hadn’t known it had one! – and eventually came to the conclusion that they meant it had some underarm discoloration. Translation: It is our professional opinion that you sweat an ungodly amount. Well, sorry!

I wore that blouse on a Monday, and spilled coffee down my front, first thing. I wish I were kidding.

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Jam Vinaigrette | coffeeandquinoa.com

Most recently it was an Anthropologie sweater that I decided was worth dry cleaning because I was afraid I’d ruin it any way I attempted to clean it. It’s super delicate – a really loose weave, almost like a lace sweater, if that makes any sense – and I can barely put it on over my earrings without it catching. But when I picked it up from the dry cleaner it had a big bold tag that said “ATTENTION: DO NOT DRY CLEAN.” Might as well have said  “ATTENTION: LEARN TO READ” because when I checked the tag, sure enough, “do not dry clean.”

I guess that one’s my fault. But the chances of that “hand wash cold” foolishness happening? Roughly 0%. No, I take that back. Exactly 0%.

We’ll see what the dry cleaner has in store for me next time. Do they notice if I stretch stuff out?

In any case, may this not be the kind of Monday that starts with an insult and a coffee stain on your shirt. May this be the kind of Monday where you make a salad dressing out of jam!

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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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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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