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Where Does Quinoa Come From?

I love Quinoa. My mother introduced me to it, but it was GGC who taught me that quinoa is something you can eat a million ways and seventy times a week.

Ok, not that much. Everything in moderation.

My favorite way to eat quinoa is as breakfast (with hot milk, cinnamon, a sprinkle of brown sugar) or instead of pasta. It cooks up super fast, has tons of protein, tastes good, and is way better for you than pasta.

First you clean it. I rinse it the same way I rinse a bunch of grapes, only instead of a regular colander, I use a tiny mesh colander.


Then I put it in a little pot with maybe a quarter inch of water on top of it. Like so:

just add water

You want to let it come to a nice boil over medium heat. When it boils, turn the heat way down, cover it, and let it simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. The water will soak into the seeds until they open and become almost transparent. They are surprisingly beautiful, strange looking little grains.

needs a fluffer

You just can’t tell in this picture.

We like to dish it out, then smother it in homemade pasta sauce and Asiago cheese. We eat it out on the balcony and watch the sun set. And when I try to take a photo of Mike with his wonderful quinoa dinner he says, “Seriously? I’m chewing.”

he is chewing

He Does What He Wants


This morning he stood in front of the screen door, staring at me expectantly. What do you want, little dog? I asked. He reached out with his left front paw and scratched the door. So I opened it, and watched with surprise as he tottered over to his bed on the patio, curled up, and went to sleep.  Apparently, he wanted to spend some time outdoors.

I snapped that photo and then decided to take a cue from the wiener, grabbed my laptop and my coffee, and spent my morning working with the sun on my back and a breeze in my hair.




The last spring we spent in New York I was enamored with the flowers. Which I suppose is to be expected after spending endless months in a snow-buried city. In May and June I’d walk the length of Jackie Robinson Park, or take the dogs off-leash to roam in Saint Nicholas Park, and I’d take photograph after photograph of all the beautiful flowers. There aren’t any parks in the valley anything like Saint Nicholas or Jackie Robinson, at least not that we’ve found, so we’re making something on our own.

It’s not much, but it’s mine. All mine! (Erm,¬†ours.)

coming along

Mike and I spent Saturday at the garden center and we picked up some prizes, we did! Pansies, daisies, chrysanthemums, a balcony box! This corner of the balcony will be where we put a table and chairs — whenever we acquire a set. We’ll eat dinner here in the evenings, watching the sun set behind the palm trees. We’ll sip our coffee here in the morning, some days I’ll even work out here. I am so happy to have a little bit of outdoor space all to ourselves.

balcony box

This is the first time we’ve had flowering plants since St. Andrews, Hollywood. I couldn’t possibly be happier.


We picked up a seed bell, to see what kind of bird traffic we get. What we really want is a beautiful bird feeder that we can refill regularly, but before we drop fifty bucks on a feeder and seed, we want to make sure there will be takers. It’s been three days and so far nuthin’ but flies. Keep your fingers crossed.


In New York Mike called these weeds. Turns out they’re a chrysanthemum variety, Mike.

english daisies

I have a feeling these English Daisies are going to take over the balcony box.


I can’t remember what these little flowers are, but they sure are pretty. And I’m hoping they will attract hummingbirds. Fingers crossed!