Quinoa Salads, Pink Drinks, Good Things Happen

Good afternoon! What’s everyone reading these days? I’m excited about the new Curtis Sittenfeld novel (published today) called Rodham, which imagines what would’ve become of Hillary had she never married Bill; I’m also in the middle of Before the Fall, by the Fargo creator Noah Hawley — it’s a thriller, and not my usual genre, but it’s actually been really fun to just tear through something before I go to sleep, and after our nightly Wire screening. Yes! We are still plowing our way through The Wire! Currently in Season 4, the public school season, which the whole family agrees is the best, if the most heartbreaking. Here is today’s kitchen dispatch…

Pantry: Quinoa Salads

In my last book, there’s a recipe that has an official sounding name (it’s on page 117), but I mostly think of it as “Quinoa Salad with Everything.” Quinoa has fallen out of the rotation in our house lately because we’ve been so enamored by the newer shinier wheat berry and farro, but I forgot how much I like it. It’s much lighter than a lot of the nuttier grains and yet has enough substance to satisfy everyone. Especially if you load it with Everything, as I did above. This was last week, on yet another night when I had some odds and ends begging to be used, so that’s what I did. I roasted beets (wrap in foil, unpeeled, 375°F for an hour, the let cool, peel and chop) cabbage shards and carrot pieces (toss in olive oil with salt and pepper, roast after beets come out at 400°F for another 30 minutes), then tossed those vegetables with quinoa, feta, pistachios, baby radishes, cucumbers, and snipped chives. I used a basic vinaigrette, but your simplest go-to will probably do just fine. The breaking news here is the addition of cabbage. Have I mentioned how much I love it roasted, all sweetened and caramelized? OK, fine. I’ll stop. P.S. I also made a bowl of cold sesame noodles because I had promised Abby earlier in the day, then forgot, and even though it was completely redundant and unnecessary, I am a sucker and basically doing anything they ask these days. #ControlTheControllable

Project: Homemade Pink Drinks

Technically Starbucks drive-thrus (and apparently a few non-drive thrus) are open for business, but we’ve mostly been avoiding them. (To be honest, it’s more about the long lines than it is about the social distancing.) This means we’ve been forced to get creative when it comes to my 16-year-old’s favorite Starbucks order: The Pink Drink. Made with coconut water, dried strawberries, and a mysterious açaí flavor packet, they were popularized by James Charles a few years ago. (Though my daughter’s craving for the drink seems to have outlasted her craving for the Youtuber.) Anyway, we’ve been experimenting with some homemade versions, collecting random ingredients (Welch’s white grape juice!) as we come across them in our regular shopping. So far this is the recipe that comes the closest. Though, my daughter will tell you it’s still not perfect.

Purpose: Good Things Happen

This post from illustrator Adam J. Kurtz warmed my heart. Now I want to buy everyone I know one of those keychains!

Stay safe.

The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at jenny@dinneralovestory.com.

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I haven’t read it yet, but I’m pretty sure that -Rodham- is about Hillary breaking up with Bill before they can get married, and then involves her life without Bill Clinton being a main feature, but bumping into him periodically throughout her life. The idea of writing an alternate history for someone who is still alive is fascinating. 🙂


yes to what GM said – I’m SO curious if H will say what she thinks about it! Chelsea doesn’t exist… but DT (blech) does.


I am reading “The Book of Longing”, by Sue Monk Kidd. Wow! I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do! Very cool feminist story taking place in biblical times (New Testament, which i don’t know much about).

and recently finished Lori Gottlieb’s “Maybe you should talk to someone”. Good read and made me feel better about my own mental state (i’m cool….for now).


I Just got the new David Kamp book Sunny Days yesterday! So excited to read! I still need to read anything by Curtis Sittenfeld.


Oh my gosh, The Wire season 4 is one of the reasons I cannot rewatch that amazing series. That season is so wonderful, so heartbreaking…and as a public school teacher so accurate, it’s painful.

Also popped in to say I’m on my way to the grocery store, and my husband and I are getting really bored with the stuff we’ve been making, so I came here for inspiration. You never disappoint. Thank you!