Friday, June 15, 2018

Summer Time Fun Link Party

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We're excited to co-host the Summer Time Fun Link Party! We've joined with a group of our blogging friends to bring you a month long link party. As we jump into summer, you're invited to share your summer time posts with us! Share your crafts, DIY projects, recipes, activities, vacation ideas, and more!

What are you celebrating this summer? Cookouts, vacations, hot weather, Farmer's Market bounty and family gatherings?  Share what you're up to here, where it will be seen on fifteen different blogs!

I'm looking forward to visiting family and friends, doing a bit of traveling, and getting our home in order.  To kick things off, I'm sharing the perfect hot weather potluck offering - Quinoa Vegetable Salad, sure to be a welcome addition to any picnic table.

Meet Your Co-Hosts!

All of the co-hosts will be sharing a summer post to kick off the party. Check them out!

Link up as many posts as you'd like in keeping with the summer time theme. Come back often during the month for inspiration and to add your latest posts, too! All of the co-hosts will share a features post on July 19th.  We'll see you then!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Summertime Quinoa Vegetable Salad


If there is any one thing that marks how Americans gather during the summer months, it's the cookout!  Maybe it's a picnic or a grilling party, or a plain old fashioned potluck, but when the weather gets warm, we like to minimize indoor cooking and find ways to share good fresh food with one another as we socialize.

I often find it challenging to select a dish to bring that will be tasty and fresh, while avoiding items likely to quickly become suspect in the heat (I like you, mayonnaise, but I'm not touching you if you've been out in the hot summer sun for even a short time).

Add to that that so many friends and family members have special dietary restrictions - some are gluten-free, some are vegan, others are paleo or avoiding nightshades or nuts.

I find that a fresh veggie Quinoa Salad dressed with a vinaigrette is a versatile choice and addresses most of these issues - especially if you modify ingredients according to specific needs.  It travels well in a secure bowl and tastes even better if you let it meld for awhile in the dressing.

This is the basic recipe, but please do adjust the veggies and herbs to what you have on hand locally and to your preferences.  I have to avoid bell peppers, for example, but they'd be wonderful in here for those that can eat them. And if you're awash in zucchini or other garden bounty, toss some in!

Summertime Quinoa Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
(Vegan, Grain-Free)

1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3 cups water
Chopped vegetables (at least 3 cups total):
- cucumber
-red onion
- tomato
- summer squash
- celery
- etc!
3 bunches fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used parsley and mint - basil would also be good!)
Diced avocado (optional) - *SEE NOTE BELOW

Citrus Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste

After rinsing in a strainer, combine uncooked quinoa with water and bring to a boil.  Cover, lower heat, and let cook for about 20 minutes until the quinoa is fluffy and liquid has been absorbed.  Turn into a large bowl (big enough to allow for tossing the salad) and let cool.

While quinoa is cooking, make the vinaigrette - combine all ingredients into a jar or salad dressing bottle, cover and shake well to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Chop veggies into a bite sized dice.  You want at least 3 cups, but more is fine if you'd like a higher ratio of vegetables to quinoa.  Add vegetables to the bowl with the quinoa and combine.  Finely chop herbs and add to the bowl, mixing to combine.

Add the vinaigrette and mix again - I find it helpful to blend a bit less than I think is needed, and let it rest for about a half hour and then add more if necessary (otherwise, I tend to overdo and wind up with a pool of dressing that never melds into the salad).

Turn the salad into a sealable container and if you have time, let it chill up to a day before taking along.

When it is ready to serve, give the bowl a good shake to make sure the vinaigrette hasn't settled.


Optionally, just before serving, dice some avocado to serve on top of the salad - it's best not to chop it into the salad, as avocado doesn't keep well once it's been exposed to air and it will ruin any leftovers if you put it in with the other veggies.  But it's worth having if you're able to manage any last minute prep, because it tastes so good with the salad!

If you're asking yourself why I label this grain-free when it's full of quinoa, I'll tell you! Quinoa is actually a gluten-free pseudograin, not a cereal grain, so it can make a great alternative for those avoiding grains or gluten.   If you're serving someone who doesn't eat grains, ask them if they include quinoa in their list of things to avoid.

This salad also is a good, substantial choice for those not eating meat, as quinoa is a good source of iron, protein, and fiber.

I'd love to hear what you'd toss in here and what your go-to potluck dishes are!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Party in Your PJs #212: Colorful Celebrations

Happy Tuesday!

As you may have notice, we've been pretty absent here at RCH - we've all sort of fallen into summer mode and busy doing other things - some of our writers are in the middle of moving season, kids are out of school, and many of us are traveling.

For me, our move to a new apartment three months ago has kept me busy getting things turned into 'home', and I've reached the stage where I can, finally, after years of wishing, have good dedicated work/craft space. But the only way that happens is if I put the time into doing it and not shortcutting the organization by just turning it into a dumping ground.  That takes time, effort and discipline, and that means I need to take all that from other parts of my life - namely, some of the energy applied to this blog.  Between that, incoming houseguests and a vacation to Canada next month, I find myself more and more wanting to focus my attention away from the computer.

We're not going away entirely - we have a few posts planned for the summer, and I can never resist grazing all the lovely posts that are shared here at Party in Your PJs.  But we are taking a step back and going on semi-holiday, including putting Awesome Life Friday on hold until September.

I hope you'll  keep checking in now and then and that you have a wonderful summer!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

My birthday was June 2, so for me June is all about the celebrations!  This week, I've chosen some beautiful and creative party desserts that are as fun to look at as they are to eat.  Do you even need an excuse for a fabulously decorated cake? I think not!

DIY Paper Flower Cake Toppers ~ Bird's Party

Mermaid Cake ~ The Mandatory Mooch

Gender Reveal Pinata Cake ~ 3 Winks Designs

Unicorn Vanilla Ice Cream ~ 3 Boys & a Dog

 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!

All links are pinned to a Party can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.

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