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Sweet Potato and Cherry Quinoa02

Sweet Potato and Cherry Quinoa

Is it Summer?  Is it Fall?  My brain is so confused.

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We’ve had some cool nights lately where we didn’t even need to put the air conditioner on.  That’s not typical for CT in August.  Should I put my sandals away and starting wearing my new booties?  Maybe that’s the anxious fashionista talking because it’s going to be over 90 degrees F for most of this week.  I think those booties will have to wait.

You can see now why I’m confused.  I sort of feel like I need to wear shorts and booties at the same time.  I’m not sure that look would fly though.  (Though my husband does regularly sport a hoodie with shorts once autumn rolls around, so maybe it’s okay if you are a guy?)  How about I get the best of both Summer and Fall in one fabulous dish like this one?

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Guys, the dressing here is everything.  It’s a cinnamon vinaigrette and it’s one of the best things on earth!  It’s all about the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice for Fall.  Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte comes back on September 8th… in case you wanted to mark your calendar.  😉

Cinnamon vinaigrette, roasted sweet potatoes, dried cherries, and pecans… that would totally make for a great Thanksgiving side dish.  Seriously.  But let’s take that Thanksgiving goodness and have it with lettuce, feta cheese and quinoa.  It’s like a Thanksgiving summertime salad.

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Sweet Potato and Cherry Quinoa Recipe
(Makes 2 servings)

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the Meal:

  • 1 sweet potato (equivalent to about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups of greens (I used a Spring mix.)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (I used Ocean Spray Craisins infused with cherry juice.)
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

Directions for the Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, honey, salt, and pepper.

Directions for the Meal:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil and set it aside.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. Toss the sweet potato pieces in the oil and then lay them on the prepared baking sheet, in a single layer.
  4. Bake the sweet potato pieces in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the pieces are tender when you stick a fork in them.  (After they are done cooking I cooked them on broil for about 3 extra minutes to get them a little crispy on the edges.  The broil step is purely optional depending on what you prefer.)
  5. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package and then set it aside.
  6. To assemble each plate, lay down about 1 cup of greens and then top with half of each of the following ingredients: baked sweet potato pieces, cooked quinoa, cherry craisins, crumbled feta cheese, chopped pecans, chopped green onions.
  7. Drizzle half of the Dressing on top each meal.

Adapted from:  Love & Lemons



5 Hats


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Zucchini Bread10

Zucchini Bread

Good friends share good things with you.

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I’ve never made zucchini bread before.  In hindsight that sounds crazy because it seems like an obvious quick bread to turn to this time of the year (or when zucchini is in season).  I turned to the trusty interwebs to look for a recipe and I couldn’t find one that I liked.

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I mentioned this zucchini bread dilemma to my friend from kickboxing class and she recommended a recipe.  Yup, I take kickboxing class… hiyah.  I might have mentioned it a couple of times here on TCC.  When I started the class I wasn’t sure if I’d like kickboxing or even like taking a class (since it was my first on both accounts).  I  remember feeling like I was in kindergarten, like I was a lost and had no friends.  (That sounds more sad than it really was.)  Three years later and I still love kickboxing and I’ve made some great friends.

Boy I wish I had the “zucchini bread conversation” with my friend  three years ago because this is now one of my favorite quick breads.  I’ve been missing out!  Isn’t a trusty friend almost always a better source than the interwebs?

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I think the secret to this recipe being so awesome is the cinnamon.  Seriously, isn’t cinnamon awesome?  :)  It makes this bread SO tasty.

You don’t taste the zucchini in this bread (if you were wondering).  In fact, aside from seeing little green flecks, you really don’t notice it’s in this bread.  Maybe it’s because I used a small size grater to grate the zucchini.  Awh, tricky tricky.

Who’s up for getting their daily dose of veggies?  It’s common knowledge that if a dish has veggies in it then it’s automatically healthy.  😉

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Zucchini Bread Recipe
(Makes 1 loaf)


  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (equivalent to 6.4 ounces)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded
  • (Optional) 1/4 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and set it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set the dry ingredients aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and oil.
  5. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  6. Stir in the shredded zucchini.  Note if your zucchini is too moist, then lay the shredded zucchini in between paper towels and gently press down to remove some of the water.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  8. (Optional) Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the batter.
  9. Bake the loaf for about 50 minutes or until a pick inserted comes out clean.

Slightly adapted from:  An article clipping from a friend.  The actual source of the clipping is unknown.



5 Hats


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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Cranberry Orange Bread

05Cranberry Orange Bread

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