Friday, March 29, 2013

Quinoa Peanut Soup and other stuff!




Ahhh, is it really almost April! Seriously the time flies by so fast. I've been busy looking for jobs and it has been very discouraging. I've been applying a lot and getting nothing. I have some part time freelance job prospects that will be interesting at least. It's just a tough job market out there. I went to a group interview yesterday (last time I did a group interview was in high school when I got a job with Nordstrom) which was weird. All I can say was that it was a good experience and I'm glad I went just for that. Enough venting.......


One of my favorite magazines is Eating Well and I've been making a lot of recipes lately from their most recent issue. One of the best yet was this recipe for Quinoa Peanut Soup. I love quinoa and basically think everyone should eat it, such a healthy grain! Long live quinoa (sorry Paleo people!)! This soup is based on the Bolivian soup called Sopa de Mani. It was super easy and super tasty! If you eat meat you could easily add some diced cooked chicken or turkey for more protein. I found some Garlic tabasco sauce at the grocery store which I think made the soup even better!




Quinoa Peanut Soup
INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco (The Garlic flavor was really good in this!)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in carrots, potatoes and quinoa, then add broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is cooked and the vegetables are tender, about 18 minutes. Stir in red pepper and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes more. Stir in peanut butter until it is combined into the broth. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, hot sauce and pepper.
Source: Eating Well 

 




In other news Jake and I checked out the nearby town of Folsom the other weekend. They have a great old downtown with some interesting looking restaurants and pubs we need to go back and check out. We wanted to see where to get on the American River Parkway which is a 23 mile from Sacramento to Folsom. This way we can come back next time and bring out bikes with us. It was a warm day so we stopped for an iced latte and shared a yummy pastry at Karen's Bakery Cafe.







I've also been doing a little budget shopping lately in the clothing area since I don't have a job and our move was expensive. It has been awhile since I bought clothes for myself but luckily I found some good deals at Target and actually JC Penney. I found a dress for a wedding we are going to this summer for only $25! I always love finding good deals!
Blue oxford shirt from Target

Black shirt from Target and blue skinny jeans from JC Penney for $14!




Finally and I know this is a long post......We joined a CSA! Back in Utah I had tried two different CSA's but they were only available in the summers. This one in California is year round! We decided to go with Full Belly Farms which each week provides us with a share of organic goodies. This week the CSA included: Oranges, Carrots, Mizuna greens, baby spinach, lettuce, potatoes, spring onions, and asparagus. 




I put together a simple roasted asparagus and orange salad! Roast the asparagus at 475 degrees for about 20 minutes, then I just added the orange slices, salt, pepper, and goat cheese


One more thing! HAPPY EASTER! Here is what the Easter Bunny brought us:


Thanks Mom!



Ciao,
                  Betsy



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

High Hand Conservatory Cafe and Wine Tasting in Loomis, CA



   My husband and I have been trying to explore all of our new surroundings in California. So we took a drive up to Loomis the other day to have brunch at the High Hand Nursery and Conservatory Cafe. I was told to make reservations and I'm glad I did because this place was crowded! The cafe is located in a beautiful location in a greenhouse type building and on the grounds of the historic High-Hand Fruit Sheds. Of course, we started with mimosas so brunch was already off to a good start!

 I tried the special egg white omelet of the day, which had mushrooms, spinach, onions and was served with a yummy apricot scone and really tasty home fries. I always hate it when you go out for breakfast and the home fries/potatoes are just okay.

My husband had the Cremini Mushroom Benedict with a smoked paprika hollandaise sauce which was pretty amazing! Let's just say I was very happy to find a good breakfast place nearby. Plus, you can't beat the setting. I want to go back for dinner and for lunch sometime soon!


After brunch we walked around the nursery area and I wished that I had a green thumb so I could buy some things to plant. They do offer gardening classes so we might have to try to sign up for some.










 Inside of the historic fruit sheds there are fun little shops to check out an also three wine tasting rooms!

The Wineries at High Hand  consist of three local wineries: Ciotti, Popie Wines, and Cristaldi Vineyards.  We lucked out and that day and the tasting fee was free! We ended up going home with a bottle of Barbera from Ciotti. We both kept talking about how fun the day was at we would have never been able to go wine tasting on a Sunday in Utah! Oh California I'm loving you already!




Ciao,
Betsy


High Hand Conservatory & Cafe on Urbanspoon

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