Greek Quinoa

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When I first considered what food to choose for “Q”, the only thing that came to mind at first was “Quail”…. hmm….

Never in my life have I woken up and thought, “Hm, I think I’ll make quail for dinner today.”

Think about your last trip to the supermarket. Did you see quail in the butcher case? Did you even think to look? I didn’t.

That is why, Q is NOT for Quail.

Q is for QUINOA!!!

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Satay Saturday

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There is something about “sticks” that make food more desirable to my munchkins… a boring turkey sandwich becomes exciting and gourmet when I cut it into squares and stick a toothpick into each one. Juice is yummy in a glass, but freeze it on a stick so you can lick it?! SO MUCH BETTER… right? Candy… so fun to eat. Candy on a stick (i.e. A Lollipop)… a special treat. Thus, chicken served right on the skewers it was cooked on… MAGNIFICENT!!

I love when they get excited about their dinner before it enters their little mouths.

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Pinstripes, Picnics, Porsche, & Pie

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Okay so actually not pin stripes… (though I often like the look)

or Picnics… (fun, but not so much in Arizona in July)

or Porsche… (pretty, but expensive)

Just PIE! (good anytime!!)

You have to promise me something before I tell you the recipe.

Are you ready?

PROMISE you will enjoy this pie with a scoop (or TWO) of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

Do you promise?

No, seriously.

Okay, I trust you… so much so that I’ll give you the RECIPE now… not just at the end of the post.

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Vanilla Ice Cream with Nectarine-Blackberry “Topping”

It’s hot. The ice cubes have stopped working. I decided to try ice cream instead. I’m liking the results.

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I couldn’t just eat plain ice cream. I had to indulge my imagination a bit more than that.

I went a little overboard…. I came up with TWO Nectarine desserts to go with my ice cream! Both ideas struck at once and I couldn’t leave on of them behind. Thus, you will be getting TWO dessert recipes to end the Nectarine saga.

Hahaha. DOUBLE the desserts. DOUBLE the fun. No mint included… though, that might be tasty??

THE FIRST DESSERT… Vanilla Ice Cream with Nectarine-Blackberry Topping

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Nectarine Salsa

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Today the chance for rain in Phoenix went from 30 percent to 20 percent…

My “Gigi” (my husband’s grandma) said it best: “It never rains at 20 percent”. Sadly, I know she’s right.

It was slightly overcast yesterday for an hour or two and I thought…. YES!! The rain is going to come! My hopes were shattered today when that percentage changed. I’ve started sucking on ice cubes to keep myself cool. I don’t mind the heat for the first few weeks but then it starts to make me tired and more easily irritated… by August I’m so ready for the heat to be over I can hardly stand it.

Besides ice cubes, the foods that sound best right now are those that are cool and refreshing… like chilled Pico di Gallo!

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Pork & Nectarine Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing

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Summer is in full swing here in Phoenix. You know this when the temperature breaks 115°F… funny enough, a 101°F day is mild and yes, you can tell the difference. In the midst of these weeks of extreme heat we stay inside more often than not, meaning that I can indulge in my official state of “nesting”.

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Brie & Nectarine Panini

This recipe was inspired by a panini I saw on the menu of an L.A. bakery…

It was made with Brie & Pears, and while they divulged very little about the rest of the sandwich, it looked DELICIOUS!

When I set out to create some Nectarine recipes, this sandwich came to mind…. I’m so glad I tried it… this panini is to die for.

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You want to make this. Oh my, do you want to make this!

Ever since I made these I’ve been lying awake at night thinking about the different things I could stuff a panini with and how delicious it’s going to taste.

Is that normal?

I hope your answer is yes.

This sandwich truly does melt in your mouth. The buttery, toasted bread gives you just enough crunch to balance out the creamy brie and nectarine filling inside. THe peppery arugula and the drizzle of balsamic give it that final punch that really knock this panini’s flavor out of the park.

It’s beautiful, decadent, and divine.

How many you make and who you make it for is entirely up to you. But make it soon! This is not something you want to put off.

It is nothing like dusting your ceiling fans or organizing that front closet. This recipe was made to be enjoyed TODAY!

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A Nod to Nectarines

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The nectarine’s flesh is sweet, succulent and firmer than that of its relative, the peach.

How do you tell the difference between a peach and a nectarine? There are not many genetic differences between the two fruits and their flavors are actually remarkably similar. They would be very difficult to tell apart except for the fuzz on the skin of the peach compared to the smooth nectarine.

When are nectarines in season?  Most nectarine varieties are available from midspring to late September with a peak during July and August. California produces 95% of the nectarines grown in the Unites States.

How do you pick nectarines at the supermarket? When you’re picking out nectarines, you want them to smell sweet (yes, smell them in the store). You also want them to be brightly colored (no bruises or blemishes), and they should give slightly when you press gently on the skin (not hard or overly green).

How do you store a nectarine? Slightly underripe nectarines can be left to ripen at room temperature for a couple of days. Ripe fruit should be refrigerated and used within 5 days.

Are nectarines good for you? One medium nectarine contains about 70 calories, no saturated fat, fiber, and a small amount of protein. They contain a fair amount of vitamins A and C.

While I really LOVE peaches, I kind of relished the fact that being on the letter “N” allowed me to indulge the seemingly less used, less appreciated nectarine.

If you like peaches, you’ll like nectarines too… it’s the perfect time to make nectarine recipes with July just a few days away… nectarines are just entering their PEAK season!

WOO HOO FOR SUMMER FRUIT!!! They keep me going during this Arizona heat… High of 120°F today by the way… yes, I choose to live here.

These are some of my favorite recipes yet!

I hope you’re hungry! I know I am.

Happy Economical Eating!

Love, Jenna

A savory take on Jam

At first I dismissed the idea of “J is for Jam” altogether because I thought there would be no “dinner” recipes made with jam…

Only desserts came to mind.

Then I realized that jams would make a FANTASTIC glaze for meats… especially chicken or pork. But more on that in another post.

A “jam” that I definitely did not expect but ended up LOVING is the subject of today’s post: TOMATO Jam!

Throw out any pre-conceived notions that just entered your head… you NEED to try this!

Tomatoes are a fruit after all… why not make jam out of them?

This is amazing on a burger!!! Take a look…

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Sweet Words are like Honey

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This is my final honey recipe and it’s DESSERT!

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. ~Proverbs 16:24

I hope you will make this SWEET dessert and serve it up with some SWEET words for your loved ones! Too often we use our words to tear each other down instead of building each other up. We focus on that which is lacking in one another instead of praising each other for our strengths.

We all know how much words can affect us… at least they affect me… they can make or break my day (or my week) and can inspire or discourage alike. So, whether you write a note or bring a verbal word of encouragement along with this crumble, speak gracious words that will be sweet to the souls of those who receive them… sweet like “honeycomb” as Proverbs says. 🙂

This recipe is especially close to my heart…

I grew up visiting the small town of Hendricks in farm-country Minnesota. One of my fondest memories was having my Grandma Caroline’s homemade rhubarb jam and pie… made with rhubarb straight from her garden no less!

While I didn’t harvest my rhubarb from my backyard garden (I’m expecting my green thumb to arrive any day now…), I did pick up some from the grocery store along with some strawberries for this DELICIOUS dessert!

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