“In My Kitchen” February 2024

I have no idea where January went. It seems like I was just putting up the Christmas decorations.  Now, I’m hanging the Valentine’s Day wreath on the door. Time is just moving too fast.

To be honest, I almost skipped this posting. There was just nothing new in the kitchen. Then I thought about it and decided I could cobble something together. (I hate to miss IMK!)

I’m getting better and better about using items in our bi-monthly farm bag delivery.  The recipes that they create and share to utilize the produce can be a little sketchy and verbose but I can usually morph them into something we like.  Case in point with this salad.  

Roasted Beet Quinoa Salad with Ginger-Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Debra (based on recipe found here.)


  • 1/2 lb. beets
  • 2 c. quinoa
  • 2 T. Champagne vinegar
  • 1 t. Dijon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1 Blood Orange – juiced + zested
  • 1 T. fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 t. honey
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 4 oz. feta
  • Optional:  pomegranate arils, nuts, sprouts


  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Remove the beet greens (and reserve if they look crisp and good) and coat each beet with olive oil. Place the coated beets onto a sheet of foil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap up the beets in a foil packet and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Check to see if they are fork tender. If not, wrap them back up and roast them for 10 minutes longer or until fork tender. Set aside to cool. Once cool, easily remove the skins with your fingers and chop into bite-size pieces.
  2. While beets roast, cook quinoa according to directions.
  3. Next, make vinaigrette. Place vinegar, Dijon, salt and pepper, orange juice, ginger, and honey in a blender. Blend until mixed. While blender is running, drizzle in olive oil. Set aside.
  4. If your beet greens looked good, rinse well and chop.  Set aside.
  5. When quinoa is done and while it’s still hot, toss it with the vinaigrette.  Let it cool a bit to room temperature.  Then, toss in the beets, beet greens, and feta.
  6. If you have optional toppings, add them and serve.


You can top this salad with pomegranate arils, roasted pecans, sprouts, whatever you like.  Or, it’s just good on it’s own.  I had a lot of sprouts to use, so that was my topping.

Another tip: I always toss my vinaigrette into the quinoa while it is still warm.  I think it absorbs the flavors more. This salad makes a lot and can easily be halved.  In fact, it would work well with only 1 cup of quinoa. I honestly got tired of eating this for lunches.

We started wine making again and while we were at the supply store, I found that they are finally carrying vinegar mother and scoby (for kombucha). I had asked about these YEARS ago. I was glad to see they were carrying the scoby so I bought some and am also making kombucha again (after a long hiatus).

Back the the wine making:

Not “In My Kitchen,” but in the guest bathroom!

This is over six gallons of merlot in the “degassing” stage. It should be ready in another 30 days or so.

I started binging on Julia (the Max series) and am loving it. It’s humorous that David Hyde Pierce and Bebe Neuwirth are on the same series again.  When I made my last book pick up at the library, this was seriously calling my name. 

I’ve got another week before it’s due back at the library. So far, I haven’t cracked it open. 🙁

I was going in to pick up this book, Iwígara: The Kinship of Plants and Flowers by Enrique Salmón.

I had recently found it at a bookstore and wanted to peruse it before I bought it.  You can read my review here.  Know that this is not a home-remedy book. While the author lists a description, a few photos, uses, harvesting tips, and health benefits, it is more informational than comprehensive. It’s a good starter book or a nice coffee table type book. I totally understand why Salmón would not publish a how-to book—too much liability.

It was good I checked it out of the library first!

One more book blurb—I recently received this book in the mail:  Round Here and Over Yonder.

I’m assuming I won it (perhaps from a Goodreads giveaway)????  I love that it is “A Front-Porch Travel Guide by Two Progressive Hillbillies (Yes, That’s a Thing).” Since the authors include “What to eat, drink, and where” I will probably do a foodie post about it at some point. (My TBR stack is about to topple over.)

Valentine’s Day is coming fast. I found these cute little “seed-pops” to send to the nieces. 

Aren’t they cute? These technically won’t be in my kitchen, but I hope the nieces can use the herbs in their cooking this summer.

For my curveball this month:

Second year in a row for winning the UFC trophy (Useful, Funny, Cool)!!!!!!

Well, hopefully in March I can share a glasses of merlot and kombucha with you!  Until then…

I’m linking up with Sherry’s Pickings.

Stop by to see what’s going on in kitchens around the world.

13 comments to “In My Kitchen” February 2024

  • We are big beet fans, I am pretty sure I will make this salad, I will remember the 1 cup suggestion regarding the quinoa, there are only 2 of us…

  • Congratulations on your trophy! Love those little seed pops – such a great idea – and love the tip about the quinoa and vinaigrette. Hope you have a fab February!

  • thanks much for joining in this month Liz, and thanks for using the IMK logo. great to have you. Congrats on your trophy. How very industrious and clever to make your own wine and kombucha! Have you watched that YouTuber who makes Jamie and Julia videos? He cooks his way thru her books. The recipes are so needlessly complicated and amazing to watch being cooked. I think Julia needed some lessons in how to make a recipe for the average punter – but I guess that wasn’t her purpose or intention 🙂 see you next month.

  • I also add vinaigrette into the quinoa or cous cous when it is warm. Congrats on the trophy, and enjoy the wine 🙂

  • mae

    Quinoa salad is a great idea, but one of us (not me) detests beets, so it will have to be with some other vegetable. In fact your kitchen this month sounds fun and busy. i long ago gave up thinking it had to be about new stuff — lots of us don’t get that much new stuff any more. (We spent half an hour in a beautiful huge kitchen store recently and couldn’t find even one item we needed or wished for).
    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • so many wonderful tips. I love the idea of adding the dressing to the quinoa when it’s warm and the salad looks delicious. The herb sticks are such a cute idea. Congrats on your trophy!~

  • Liz

    Ditto what others have said about new things. Seems to me that you have had a busy month. Congratulations on the award, what is UFC??? Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the first cookbook I purchased many years ago. It’s such a classic although I don’t cook from it much anymore. My mother studied with Julia and taught many of her classic recipes in her cooking school in Florida.

    • Wow. That is such a great piece of history—your mom and Julia. UFC is Useful, Funny, Cool. I think it sounds like a wrestling league.

  • Oh I had no idea that you can buy scobies in a jar like that, seems bizarre because how do they breathe & also get fed to stay alive?? My scobies were originally from my friend’s husband a good 6-7 years ago and they have survived multiple periods of neglect. They now live with me in France after lurking in my father’s cupboard in Australia for almost a year unfed, they are truly indestructible!