Quinoa Salad with Pineapple, Broccoli, and Mint

Quinoa salad with pineapple and broccoli and mint
Pineapple quinoa salad with broccoli. Fresh and healthy.

Spring is beckoning. I can feel it. And my winter-stiff body is aching to stretch and move and shed the yearly inertia that descends like a bear with the shrinking daylight. My brain is flickering awake. My taste buds are tiring of the heavy, creamy comfort foods that sustained me (thank you, lovely spuds, lasagna, and mac and cheese, I love you with all my heart).

I'm craving lighter, cleaner tastes.

Not to mention, missing my warm weather jeans. You know the ones. That stack in the back of the closet you haven't fit into since December, when you began wondering if the laundromat medium heat setting was shrinking your favorite Levi's. The jeans you have to lay down to zip, doing your best imitation of Jane Fonda's pelvic tilt, sucking in your breath and praying to the zipper gods. Your skinny jeans. You know what I'm talking about. You have two sets of jeans, right? Winter. And summer.

So here's what I'm thinking. Quinoa to the rescue.

Vegan. Versatile. Easy. Fresh. Light. This new quinoa salad with pineapple and broccoli and fresh mint is all of the above. And maybe, just maybe, it'll be the first step to fitting into those skinny jeans.

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Peanut Butter Blossoms . . . one of our favorite cookie recipes

Do you have a go-to cookie recipe?  A recipe you can always depend on when you need to bring cookies to a party, to a school function, or to a friend? 

Here's mine.  Peanut Butter Blossoms.  PB Blossoms are little sugar-dipped peanut butter cookies with a Hershey's Kiss perched perfectly on top.

You've probably eaten them...and you might just have the recipe in your arsenal.  If you don't, you need it.  These babies get scarfed up by kids and grown-ups alike.

{PS....I have written in my cookbook (do you write in your cookbooks?) that the 1st time I made these was when kiddo was 7.  He said these were the "most fun" recipe he's ever helped make.}

Peanut Butter Blossoms
{ever so slightly adapted from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion}

1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter (I use Skippy Natural)
1/3 c. sugar (plus more for rolling)
1/3 c. light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 & 1/2 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
Hershey's Kisses (7 ounces)

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 375.

Using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter until blended.  Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.  Add in the egg through vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.  Add in the flour in 3 additions. Scrape the bottom and side of bowl as needed.

Place extra granulated sugar on a plate. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the sugar.

Place coated dough balls on the parchment-lined sheets.  Bake cookies until the are a very light golden color, about 10 minutes.  (Meanwhile, unwrap the kisses.)

Remove the cookies from the oven and it's go time!  Immediately place a kiss on top of each hot cookie, pressing down slightly.

{Kids LOVE to help with this part!}

Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
My favorite part? How the heat from the warm cookie makes the kisses soft and melty.  You want one now, don't you?  Oh, and here's how I eat them....I eat all around the perimeter of the cookie, saving the Hershey's Kiss with a bit of cookie on the bottom for the *perfect* last bite.

Are you sold yet?  Wanna try a Peanut Butter Blossom?


There is no need for an introduction to the work of Suzanne Tucker, co-principle of Tucker & Marks.  Suzanne's work has been showcased in the better publications numerous times, and she is one of Architectural Digest's 100 Top Designers.  

The room above was Suzanne's contribution to the Designer Showcase 2010 home.

This new line of fabrics for Suzanne Tucker Home is so beautiful that I couldn't put it down.  Being fabricated in the United States, Europe, India and Asia, the textures and colors are stunning.  

I have included the name and colorway of each piece.  My scans can in no way reveal the beautiful colors and textures of these fabrics.

Enough from me and on to the collection... 









Shagreen ~ 57% Linen/26% Silk/17% Cotton


Golden Mushroom


Coffee Bean

Grey Blue


Cobble Stripe ~ 100% Silk





Dove Grey


Sophie ~ 50% Viscose/25% linen/13%Silk/12% Cotton



Chili Pepper





Jakarta ~ 55% Cotton/45% Linen






French Blue

Carita ~ 100% Linen

(new color)

Hatley ~ 100% Linen

I love each one, but the browns and grays are my favorites!  What are your favorites?

To order these beautiful fabrics, contact Thomas Laving at 310-278-2456 or one of the showrooms below.  For more information on this line, contact Paige Downey at 415-445-6789.
Also, to see the portfolio and other information, visit the following sites:
Suzanne Tucker Home
Tucker & Marks


Atlanta ~ Ainsworth-Noah
Chicago ~ Holland & Sherry
Los Angeles ~ Pacific Design Center
New York ~ Holland & Sherry
San Francisco ~ Shears & Window
Paris ~ Holland & Sherry

This is just the beginning of what Suzanne Tucker has been working on.  She will also be introducing a line of furnishings, accessories and tabletop designs soon.  

 Photography by Kevin Candland.

Thank you for your help Paige!

See you soon, friends.