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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Green Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Avocado and Kale Pesto + a Giveaway!

Green Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Avocado and Kale Pesto

Do I have an exciting post for you today!

You may remember my friend Julia of The Roasted Root. Julia is a health food maven and blogger extraordinaire. She’s known for her gluten-free goodies, savory stews, and kick-ass kombucha, but most of all, the girl can roast a mean root. Not a beet, carrot or tuber gets by her without being turned into something fabulous. Julia is very clearly inspired by vegetables, and so I’m over-the-moon excited about the release of her second cookbook, Let Them Eat Kale!

I can’t think of anyone more perfect than Julia to spend months in the kitchen with countless bunches of beautiful leafy greens, chopping, massaging and braising to her little heart’s content. And now you and I get to reap the benefits. Julia was sweet enough to send me a copy of her book to review (plus another to give away!). Let’s just say I think there are splotches of drool on my copy.

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Strawberry, Swiss Chard and Wild Rice Salad

Strawberry, Swiss Chard and Wild Rice Salad | coffeeandquinoa.com

We’ve been making our way through a long list of movies to watch, and this weekend was The Five-Year Engagement with Jason Segel and Emily Blunt. Have you seen it? Maybe a bit chick flick-y for Nate, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a liiiittle close to home at times, as the whole premise of the movie is that he is miserable after they move across the country for her post-doc. Had I seen it a few years ago, I probably would have been terrified to make the same move for Nate… well, more terrified than I already was! But all’s well that ends well. Our engagement is going to be a short 10 months, and I haven’t even become a sweater-knitting crossbow hunter during my time in Utah. Nope, just a running-obsessed food blogger… is that better or worse? I’ll let you decide.

Between our list of movies, Nate’s House obsession, and the World Cup going on right now, it’s shocking that our TV ever gets turned off. And I even skipped last week’s episode of The Bachelorette! That’s how you know there’s too much other TV being watched.

Strawberry, Swiss Chard and Wild Rice Salad | coffeeandquinoa.com

Speaking of The Bachelorette, have you seen this Jim Gaffigan bit about McDonald’s? Nate says The Bachelorette is my McDonald’s. I say my McDonald’s is gorging myself on peanut butter and chocolate. Or reading People magazine on the elliptical. Anyone want an update on the Kardashian wedding? I didn’t think so. That’s OK… I could have worse flaws, I think.

This salad, on the other hand, is completely virtuous. It’s got nothing in common with McDonald’s. I mean, hello – look at all that Swiss chard!

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