Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Dan!


It's a very special day at our house! It's Dan's birthday! Happy Birthday sweetie! Dan is my better half of 19 years, my best friend, and my rock! He's hands down the best dad! Dan has a great sense of humor that get's us through rough times and he's got an attention to detail that keeps our household running smoothly!

In honor of Dan and his special day, I created this card for him.

I'm always challenged when it comes to making manly cards! And I'm happy that I was able to pull it off this time around! Well, it may not be manly, but it's not girlie either! You should see some of the cards Dan has received from me over the years...some with pretty bows and flowers! :)

I used the gorgeous autumn themed papers from Bella Blvd's. 'Finally Fall' collection. The papers were die cut with the smallest circle and oval Spellbinders dies. The only thing I added to make this a birthday card was the green 'Birthday' rub on from my stash.

Well, I'll be spending a bit of time in the kitchen today. It's a tradition in our house to make the birthday person's favorite dinner and sweet treat. If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you can guess that Dan picked Chocolate Chip Cookies instead of cake. He can never get enough of that chewy chocolatey goodness!

For dinner he surpirsed me and picked chicken with green sauce...that's what we call it. It's actually called 'Creamy PHILLY Pesto Chicken' from All Recipes.

To tell you the truth, I put off making this recipe for a little while because the green sauce didn't look too appetizing to me! Anyway, I finally decided to make it and it's become a family favorite! Even requested for a birthday dinner! So, I have a nice big basil plant and freshly toasted pine nuts for the pesto sauce. Instead of rice, I make this with quinoa. My boys love the stuff!

I've mentioned quinoa a couple of times on my blog, but haven't told you what it is because I don't know how to describe it, but I thought Rebecca Crump of Ezra Pound Cake summed it up well when she wrote:

It’s strange stuff, quinoa, a plant-based complete protein, with all nine amino acids. A nutritional powerhouse respected by the Incas as the “mother grain.” But most of us have no idea what to do with it, much less how to pronounce it.

I’d been avoiding those little beads since the Great Quinoa Disaster of 2010, when I cooked it for the first time and wound up with a bowl full of nasty, gritty stuff that tasted like old pennies.

So, I wasn’t even tempted to try quinoa (that’s KEEN-wah, in case you were wondering) again until I saw a recipe for Toasted Quinoa, Corn and Avocado Salad in Marie Simmons’ “Fresh & Fast Vegetarian.” A big, summery, main dish salad with toasted quinoa, fresh sweet corn, diced tomatoes, scallions, creamy avocado and a small handful of cilantro tossed with a bright lime-jalapeƱo dressing.
And there, in Simmons’ section on quinoa, I finally learned what I’d done wrong the first time.
Before you cook quinoa, you have to RINSE it.


Quinoa requires rinsing, because it’s covered in saponin, a natural bitter-tasting compound that protects it from being eaten by birds. Just pour your quinoa into a fine-mesh sieve, place it under running water for about a minute, and it’s ready to be cooked.

Consider me schooled.

Hope you give quinoa a try! It's a delicious, easy way to replace those simple carbs and add nutrition!

Have a super day!

Kathy :)


sherry said...

Happy birthday, Dan!

cnelson said...

Happy Birthday to Dan! The card you made him is ohhh so cute! The birthday dinners sounds so YUMMY! I have some quinoa in my pantry and am going to try it one of these've inspired me!

Alice said...

Happy Birthday to Dan! fabulous card, too! super fun design. love it!

Christine said...

Super cute card Kathy!! I love the stitching. Perfectly simple!!
xoxo, Christine

Cheri said...

Happy Birthday, Dan. Great card. I so enjoy reading your blog. The quinoa story is too funny. Have a fun day.

Maureen Merritt said...

Wow, I love the card!!! And that recipe looks delicious! TFS!

Audrey Pettit said...

awwww, happy, happy birthday to Dan!! Hope his day was super fabulous! Love the card you made him. Great stitching, as always, and what a fun use for all those fabulous patterned papers.
I'm smiling over the chocolate chip cookies request. That's what Pete always asks for instead of cake, too. That chicken dish sounds yum-o. Need to try it. Love, love pesto.

Virginia L. said...

LOVE the card for Dan! Happy belated birthday to Dan!! LOVE the meal that yo specially prepared for him! I had Quinoa the other day and I didn't rinse before cooking! Wish I read your post first! (LOL).

Virginia L. said...

And oh... I LOVE LOVE LOVE the card for Dan. So sweet and graphic--perfect for a nice guy (I'm sure he IS one!!).

KatieJ said...

I just found your blog today and you have a new fan! I love everything you share on here, and am especially excited to find this card- I have been putting off making several birthday cards due to creative block but this is perfect to recreate! Thank you!

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