cake, nap, quinoa

So… I had a little more than a bite of that chocolate cake.  I. could. not. stop. eating. it.  I had enough willpower to stop at about half, after I’d dug around to get all the yummy chocolate mousse sandwiched between the slices of cake.  So, a pseudo-victory.

Within about an hour, I had succumbed to a sugar coma and ended up taking a TWO-HOUR nap on the couch.  I must have been tired; I can’t sleep like that unless I am.  It was like I didn’t know what hit me!  It was the kind of nap in which you wake up hot, and thirsty and STILL tired.

I woke up just in time to start dinner.  I made Patricia Wells’ Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Parsley and Spring Onions.  I had to use a mix of quinoa and millet (another grain) since I didn’t have enough quinoa.  It worked out really well; I was able to use both of them up–SCORE!

It was really yummy.  I started by toasting the quinoa and millet, then cooked them in chicken stock until softened.  Then all you do is pulse parsley, olive oil and lemon in a blender to make a vinaigrette, and add that to the quinoa, along with chopped scallions.

Before serving, you make, essentially, a salad dressing to toss with the spinach separately (pictured below) out of light cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and chives.  I didn’t know “light” cream existed…  I’d always bought heavy cream for all my cream needs.  This recipe specified light cream and it didn’t occur to me until I got to Wegmans that it might be hard to find.  Thankfully, it wasn’t hard at all; it was right next to the heavy cream.  Go figure.

The dressing was great.  Very light, lemony and chive-y.  I love chives.  I don’t get them nearly enough.  I actually used chives from my herb garden from before we moved.  I froze teaspoonfuls into ice cubes and transported them here.  Freezing fresh herbs in ice cubes has been brilliant for me.  I use them all the time.  I’m so looking forward to having a garden next summer.

Conveniently, I had a mason jar from canning to use to shake up the dressing–sweet!  I served the quinoa with some of my homemade apple pear sauce to round out the meal.  We were going meatless tonight, whether Andrew wanted to or not!  Actually, he noticed that tonight’s free hotel dinner was spaghetti and meatballs, so it didn’t take him long to ask, rather sheepishly, if he could go down the hall and get some.  I was pretty peeved (someone back me up here), but relented if he’d wait until AFTER we finished dinner.

I had planned on serving wine with this dinner, but since we were going to be going to the last “Thursday at the Waterfront” downtown concert series event of the summer, I figured we didn’t need two alcoholic beverages in one night.

We met Andrew’s friend, Bart, downtown and listened to the concert for a little while before heading over to the Pearl Street Bar and Grill for some wings.  I really didn’t want any (SO CLOSE to my goal!), but I didn’t want to be a stick-in-the-mud, so I went willingly.  I chose water (instead of their awesome, seasonal BLUEBERRY beer) and ended up having just two of Andrew’s wings.  I had to try them…what if they were to become a new favorite??  I won’t keep you in suspense, they weren’t.  Don’t get me wrong, they were great.  But nothing beats the Bar Bill and Pasquale’s, in my book.

Happy (almost) Friday!

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