Quinoa-Beet Salad

Kenny and I invented this salad recipe a few nights ago, and if we must say so, it was quite delicious.

Salad:
1 cup quinoa (before cooking)
~3 Beets
A few stalks of asparagus
A few sprigs of mint
Chunk of feta (this is a standard measurement)
1 orange, peeled and separated
A few shallots, diced

Dressing:
Orange juice
Lemon juice
Olive oil
Kosher salt

  1. Cook the beets. We usually wrap them in aluminum foil and pop them in the oven for 30 minutes or so. Boiling works too.
  2. Cook the quinoa using the instructions on the box (this is usually 1 part quinoa:2.5 parts water, boil and then lower the heat and simmer until the water is mostly absorbed).
  3. Blanch the asparagus.
  4. After the quinoa cools slightly, put it in a bowl. Chop and add the asparagus, shallots, beets, mint, orange, and feta.
  5. Shortly before serving, mix the dressing, and dress the salad.

How to Open a Coconut

Kenny and I had a few friends over for dinner on Saturday evening, and we decided that coconut ice cream would make a nice complement to the fresh mangoes that our friend DeAnn had offered to bring for dessert. There were several choices of coconut products at the store, including cans of coconut milk, dehydrated shredded coconut, and fresh coconuts in the produce section. We opted to try a combination of fresh coconuts and canned milk for our ice cream.

There was just one problem once we arrived home from the store: we had no idea how to actually crack open the coconut’s hard shell to get at the goodness inside. We looked at our array of knives, and couldn’t imagine that any of them would be particularly effective. After a short aborted attempt with our bread knife (I don’t recommend this, we actually bent one of the teeth), I suggested getting out our saw:

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Kenny made some progress with this approach, but it was slow going, and we worried that it was unsanitary. So he asked me to consult the web. A search for “how to open a coconut” took me to howtoopenacoconut.com, naturally.

Following those instructions, Kenny made quick work of the coconut:

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Using a hammer and nail to punch a hole in the coconut

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Letting the juice drain out through the hole

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Now, the fun part – smashing the coconut to bits with the hammer 

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Et, voila!

Unfortunately, once we finally got the coconut open it just didn’t taste quite right. We ended up throwing it out and opting for a bag of shredded coconut from the grocery store. But at least we learned something; I suspect that our newly-acquired coconut opening skills will come in quite handy on our next trip to visit Kenny’s parents in Florida.

We used this recipe for the ice cream. It was delicious.

Whither the WPF Posts?

A commenter pointed out (not politely, but accurately) that I have not posted any new content about WPF in some time, which reminded me that I never actually wrote about the job transition that I made over two years ago. I apologize for that, in particular to those who had been subscribed to this blog hoping to see new WPF tidbits.

In late 2006 (after .Net Framework 3.0 shipped), I transitioned over to the Exchange Server team, where I’ve been immersed in the humble task of making email more reliable, accessible, and easier to manage for hundreds of millions of users. In the process, I’ve learned a good deal about building large-scale server applications and how to ship software as a service.

But unfortunately for this blog, up until very recently, the details of my work had been confidential. Now that we’ve shipped Beta 1 of Exchange Server 2010 (to much cheering, woohoo!), I’m at liberty to share. However, I expect that if I decide to use blogging as the medium to do so, I’ll start a separate blog for that purpose. This blog started out as a personal blog, made some forays into the work space, and has come full circle back to the personal realm. To avoid any further confusion, I think it’ll stay there. If you’re interested in hearing about my various experiments with cooking, photography, various arts and crafts projects, international travel, happenings around the Seattle area, and my occasional ramblings about local and national political issues, then stay tuned. If you were here for the WPF content, I promise that I won’t be offended if you unsubscribe (assuming you haven’t already).

Of course, many in the WPF community have found the old WPF posts helpful (and from some of the comments that still crop up, I know that many still do), so I absolutely plan to keep them here for posterity. But I don’t expect that I’ll begin posting about WPF again anytime soon (here or elsewhere), as I just haven’t been spending time with that technology. To those of you who are using it – best of luck, and please leverage the current WPF team and the vibrant WPF/Silverlight community! Although I’ve moved on, I still look back on my WPF days fondly and I’m always excited to hear about interesting applications of the technology.