Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Birthday to Ways To Use It!

Wow - time flies!

Today, our Splitcoast Ways To Use It challenge turns 9 years old! 468 Thursdays and 468 ways to use what you already have in a new and different way. Amazing. And all brought to you by creative women who volunteer their time to freely share ideas and inspiration. My hat is off.

I'm addicted to challenges. I love starting my design process from a totally different place than I would normally.

For example, I normally start designing around an image I feel like using. I decide whether I'm going to color it, or paper piece it, etc. But for me, it always starts with the stamp.

But challenges make me start at a completely different place, and I love it. It breaks all my habits and makes me actually be creative. I ALWAYS learn something and I always love the result - sometimes they stretch me to the point where I feel like someone else designed my card. I love that. That is truly getting out of a comfort range and into a creative space.

 Today's birthday challenge is to use calendar elements - it could be a grid, a number, a date - anything you'd find on a calendar. I chose a few things: red, for a red letter day like today, squares for the date blocks, and a fun date and sentiment from our Remember This rotary stamp. The shapes were made with the Postage Punch.

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And just for the heck of it, I filmed it. I didn't design this card until I started filming, so forgive my hemming and hawing. :)

OH - and I have a GREAT recipe for you after the video.

Okay - so now for the recipe. My friend Sue Farrant shared this with me - she uses some fun Ipad app to find and store recipes called My Recipe Book. The original recipe is from, but I modified it. Here is my modified version. And it's AMAZING. Even better left over.

Crunchy Salad with Quinoa and Ginger/Lime/Peanut dressing.

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 Cup diced red cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 Cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 Cup diced green onions
  • 1/2 Cup honey roasted peanuts, crushed
  • Fresh lime, for a bit of tang (I used one half, squeezed - next time I’d squeeze both)
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 Cup all natural peanut butter (next time I’d use a sweetened one or up the honey)
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (I used white wine vinegar - what I had)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (I used hot sesame oil)
  • 1 tsp olive oil

  1. To cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer - it will be bitter if you don’t, you knuckleheads. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
  2. To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey or agave to a medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oil and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Add as much or as little dressing as you’d like to the quinoa. I always start out with a little bit of dressing and usually add more to suit my taste preferences. Alternatively you can save the dressing for later and add when you are ready to eat; however the flavors of the dressing usually soak into the salad so I love adding it to the quinoa first. (I added all of it)
  4. Next fold in red pepper, onion, cabbage and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with peanuts and green onions (I didn’t read ahead and just incorporated them). Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.

    This is seriously the bomb. Keeps great in the fridge - it's a week's worth of lunch. You will love it. 

    I had a peanut sauce I used to use for chicken that no one carries anymore and this sauce is now going to be my homemade version. Now I just have to learn how to make sweet chili sauce and I'll be all set. 

    Anyway - have a happy Thursday - hope you find a way to use something I've shared :).



  1. I'm making the salad again today! Love having it in the fridge!

  2. I loved the video......I bought one of those laser thingys ages ago and have never been smart enough to tape it I know~

  3. Bookmarking this for that amazing sounding recipe since I have some as yet unused quinoa in the cupboard. I could have sworn I bought it because one of the guys in work raved about it a while back, but when I asked him what he made with it, he couldn't remember....
    But, we don't have your wonderful vegetable shops here. I can only think of one place I can reliably get red cabbage, so it might have to wait until I'm in the city centre. I hope not, though - that peanut dressing sounds scrumptious.

  4. I made a special trip to pick up cilantro, everything else happened to be on-hand. . .awesome! You're right, perfect for lunch, all week long. Thanks! Great card too, by the way.

  5. You made this card while doing the video ... ....
    ***bowing to you from N. Texas***

    It wouldn't surprise me to see something similar to this card appearing in a class on Waite Drive, 2014. ;) Love this!!



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