Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

I can tell already that this quinoa vegetable salad is going to be on heavy rotation around here for awhile.  I made a big batch (as in the recipe below) over the weekend and have nibbled on it for lunches and snacks ever since.

Perfect healthy lunch salad - quinoa and fresh vegetables

It's loaded with veggies and gets a good shot of protein from the quinoa and black beans.  The flavors are all rather gentle but meld together in a really delicious way.  I packed a container in my five year old's lunch today and she gobbled up every bite.

Perfect for an at-home or on-the-go lunch for adults and kids alike!

 Perfect healthy lunch salad - quinoa and fresh vegetables

Quinoa Vegetable Salad - makes about 5 cups
Ingredients
1 c. quinoa
2 c. chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 orange pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
 small fresh mozzarella balls, quartered (as much as you want)
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Cook the quinoa in the chicken broth according to package directions.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.  Add quinoa, stir again, and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.  Leftovers can be eaten cold or at room temperature.

Friday, September 12, 2014

F4 - Food, Fashion, For the Home, Follow

Happy Friday, and welcome to another edition of my F-themed favorites from the week.  Let's jump right in, shall we?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to Sew a Pillow with a Zipper

I used to be an exclusively envelope-closure pillow seamstress.  Zippers intimidated the heck out of me.  But then I discovered something that changed all of that.

Zippered pillow covers are really easy to sew.

Even easier than an envelope-closure pillow, which requires lots of measuring and cutting and lining up.

If you too are a zippered-pillow-phobe, read on and I will show you how very easy they are to make.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

You will need:

  • a square of fabric for the front of your pillow, cut 1" wider and longer than the size of the finished pillow
  • a square of fabric for the back of your pillow, cut 1" wider and longer than the size of the finished pillow
  • a zipper about 2" shorter than the finished width of your pillow (you can cut the end of the zipper if needed)
  • a seam ripper (mine came with my sewing machine)


Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

Decide which edges of the fabrics will be the bottom of the pillow and pin those edges together inside out.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

Sew a straight seam 1/2" from the edge you just pinned.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

Spread out the seam you just sewed and iron it flat.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

Lay the zipper on top of the flattened seam, face down, with the teeth centered over the seam.  Pin the zipper in place.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

Use a zipper foot on the sewing machine to sew a straight seam along one side of the zipper teeth.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

At the end of the zipper, sew a horizontal seam to lock the end in place, then sew a straight seam along the other side of the zipper.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

If you are not familiar with a seam ripper, this is what they usually look like.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

You really, really want one of these!  Turn the fabric right side up and pull the seam apart a bit so you can see the threads.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

Slip the sharp end of the seam ripper under a thread at the end of the zipper (not the end of the pillow cover) and push it up to cut the thread.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

Give the area another little pull apart and the seam will start to unravel, revealing the zipper underneath.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

Now put the seam ripper inside the opening, with the red ball inside (this protects your fabric from tearing) and carefully push all the way along the seam until you get to the other end of the zipper.

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

Unzip the zipper, flip your fabric inside out again, and sew the remaining three open sides shut with straight seams, 1/2" from the edges.

Flip your cover right side out, stuff it with a pillow insert, and you are finished!

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

So much easier than an envelope closure pillow, truly.

And, seriously, was I really thinking I could pile pillows on the floor and not have a little pillow-diver show up??

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper

Have you tried sewing a pillow cover with a zipper?  Do you agree that it's so easy once you give it a try?

Easy tutorial for how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper


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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Burrata Tomato Tartine

Are you a fan of the tartine (TAR-TAN)?

I am being fancy and talking about an open faced sandwich.  Though tartine conjures up mental images of really fresh, colorful, open-faced creations for me, not your run-of-the-mill tuna melt.

THIS tartine, with creamy burrata, juicy garden tomatoes, and basil snipped from the backyard has been on constant rotation on my plate this summer, and I am very happily carrying it into the fall.  I have eaten it for breakfast.  I have eaten it for lunch.  I have eaten it as a snack.  I have eaten it as an appetizer.  It is so, so good.

burrata (fresh mozzarella + cream) and tomato tartine - so easy, soooo good

Friday, September 5, 2014

F4

This is the first full week I've been home in a while and I'm starting to wrap my head around my blog schedule for the fall.  I've spent much of this week just trying to get a handle on my house - laundry, unpacking, getting organized for the school year - before I dive into the next round of projects.  I have lots of plans though and am hoping I can get everything done that I want to - a near constant battle for me.

I have a new round of F4 for you today - my current favorite food, fashion, for the home, and follow picks.


FOOD
You may judge me for this (because of the price), but I just received these All-in-One Lunch Bags for my daughters.


They're on special right now for $47, which I know is a lot to spend on a lunch box.  But.  You get the stainless steel insert and the lunch bag for that price.  You don't have to assemble, disassemble, wash, repeat with an armful of tiny containers every day either because everything fits into the one metal box.  I figure a regular lunch bag at Pottery Barn runs around $20 and by the time I bought all the extra containers and such to fill it I'd be getting close to what I spent here.  My daughters eat amazing lunches when they have a sampling of lots of different foods and this makes packing their favorite lunches that much easier.  I had been looking at a Planet Box, which is $59 for a comparable set, and the patterns from PB Kids are so much cuter.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

FASHION
Can I consider pajamas fashion?  I think yes when they're this cute.


I only just discovered Malabar Bay, which makes these adorable cotton pajamas, tunics, and accessories. The pajamas really caught my eye but the scarves with pom pom trim are pretty great too.  All of their pieces come in the punchiest colors and patterns and I pretty much love every single one.

FOR THE HOME
How I love a metallic accent pillow.  I have this pillow cover in gold (no longer available) and just noticed it's now offered in silver as well.



It's a warmer silver that plays really well with golds and other metallics and the fabric (velvet) is perfectly soft and plush for fall.

FOLLOW
I've mentioned my friend Julia from Cuckoo for Design before - she's as funny and kind as she is talented and I love her quirky, unique, striking style.


She just got back from visiting her family in Germany and is having a little bit of tough time settling back into life at home.  Go show her some love, but I warn you, it's very easy to fall down the rabbit hole on her blog!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!