Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Zucchini and Walnuts

Every summer there’s something that is repeatedly put on the table; this summer that dish is quinoa salad with zucchini and walnuts. I use cookbooks and the internet as well as recipes that are passed on by friends or family, but sometimes I create a recipe myself. That’s the case with this quinoa salad. It’s good enough that I’d like to share, but more importantly recipes posted on this blog serve as my own little recipe box. I always know where I can go find them, and the Internet’s (seems to be) infinite in safekeeping what I like to cook. This recipe for one more alternative of a quinoa salad provides the perfect warm summer salad to accompany the meat being grilled on the BBQ.


quinoa salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • T1 zucchini diced up to nail size
  • 1-2 shallots thinly sliced (depending on likes of this caramelized onion taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil and another 1/2 tablespoon too
  • 2-3 cups greens–my favorite is spinach and arugula but any dark mixed greens will do
  • kosher salt and fresh black pepper–to taste
Cook the Quinoa

Quinoa Salad
There are various ways to cook quinoa. It’s pretty much like pasta: some like it cooked with salt, some like it al dente. I clean one cup and then place it in a pan. I cover the quinoa with 1 1/2 cups (plus a little) and place it on the stove. I turn the burner to high, get the water to a boil, and then turn the heat way down so it can simmer. Once the water is all gone, I find the quinoa to be perfect. If it goes too long here, it could stick to the pan, so I try to avoid this. Once the quinoa is ready I put it in the bowl I plan to serve the salad in and let it begin to cool.

Prep the Veggies and Nuts

Quinoa Salad 2
While the quinoa is simmering, I chop up the veggies. The zucchini should be diced into small fingernail sized squares. I thinly slice a shallot or two depending on how large the shallot is and how strong I want the onion to be. And I chop up the nuts.

Fry up the Veggies

Quinoa Salad 3
In a wok, I heat up the walnut oil. Once it’s nice and hot I throw in the shallots, stir them around a bit until they’re starting to brown, and then toss in the zucchini. This process of browning the zucchini takes about ten minutes. I keep the heat high, so the oil is bubbling. I stir every once in a while which allows the vegetable to brown. Brown equals crispier and more caramelized in my opinion. This smokiness will provide the yummy flavor to come. At this point I’ll add a little salt and pepper. Once the zucchini is ready, I place it with all the oil that it was cooked in on top of the quinoa that’s in the bowl in which I’ll serve the salad.

Quinoa Salad 5

Toast the Walnuts

Set Features Quinoa Salad_
In a small little pan, I’ll heat the remaining walnut oil and add the chopped walnuts. I toast these adding a little salt too. Once the walnuts are nicely toasted, again I add this to the top of the zucchini and quinoa. The oil that both the zucchini and walnuts were cooked in will serve as the dressing in addition to the seasoning of salt and pepper.

Just let this cool

Quinoa Salad 6
At this point, I just let the bowl of all the heated ingredients cool. I bring the bowl to the table with the lettuce leaves I’ll mix in. It isn’t until dinner is just about to be served that I add the greens. The greens will get nicely warmed and softened by this mixture.

Add the Greens and Serve

Quinoa Salad 7
Dinner is ready and so is this salad. I just toss the green leaves in and mix it all up. We have a summer buffet table out by the grill so it’s all right there ready to go. It’s the perfect warm accompaniment to whatever has been grilled on the barbecue.

Enjoy! Do you have a way of preparing a quinoa salad that just works every time? I’d love to know about it….

Kremb de la Kremb Cabin: A History

Kremb de la Kremb 3

When you pull up to our cabin, you can recognize ours as the second cabin–the one
with the red roof. Our cabin is part of a housing development from the 1920s. The elite of
Spokane used to use this area for their outings, hence the name, Tessemini Outing Club.

I refer so much online and in person to our cabin out here in Spirit Lake, Idaho. For this reason, I thought it was about time to write a short (I think it’s possible!) history about this place. Then in the coming weeks, I plan to post favorite parts of this special place of ours nestled in the panhandle of Idaho.

  • We age this place with Vincent. Since he was 2 months old when we got it, the cabin for us is one year older than him. That makes this our 14th year out here at Spirit Lake.
  • Kevin and I had been overseas teaching for over five years, and we still did not see a return date for the US. We did know that we no longer wanted to stay with folks during our summers home–especially now that we had a newborn infant. This cabin had only been on the market for a week. The afternoon we saw it, we were sold. We made an offer that evening.
  • We do not have an official year of when it was built, but we do know it dates back as early as 1921.
  • We have only stayed out here in the winter once. The cabin has not been winterized, so it’s freezing out here! The one time we did stay in the winter, we got lucky with our spirited Gigi. *wink wink*
  • With beds, this place can sleep 13 and with the couch 15. We’ve had more out here with the help of air mattresses and tents!
  • The cabin is kind of like a little motel. Upstairs there’s a kitchen, great room, bathroom, and screened in porch. Then there are three bedrooms below the porch that are accessed from the outdoors. A few years ago we added a bathroom down there for the people sleeping below. The first room is called the Love Shack, the second room The Family Room or Indian Room, and the third is called the bunk room. But more on those details later….
  • There are two beds out on the porch. We consider this the master bedroom as those two beds are mine and Kevin’s. They’re the best beds in the cabin.
  • On the main floor, there’s a kitchen with a bar that connects to the great room. In the great room there’s a river rock fireplace. We also have two beds up in the great room. This is usually where the kiddos sleep–unless grandparents are visiting. These two beds belong to them.
  • Right away we found that we needed to add a washer and dryer. For awhile though we joined the locals up at the laundromat.
  • It’s an open cabin. We’ve had guests from all over. Our family always comes out plus many friends made through our international adventures. In the upstairs bathroom, we have pictures on the walls depicting all the visitors…When will you come!?

Kremb de la Kremb 1

This is the view of the house from the water. It’s an old little cabin.
The kids love coming here: they anticipate our arrival like the coming of Christmas.

Kremb de la Kremb 2

Our first couple of years we didn’t have a dock nor a boat. Over the years, the water toys keep coming.
Our beach also fluctuates depending on the water level from the river that feeds it. There was not much snow this
winter on Mt. Spokane hence the large beach already in July.

Kremb de la Kremb 4

Here’s the other side of our cabin. This is the staircase that leads to the downstairs rooms and the beach.
Before, this cabin and our neighbor’s cabin to the left were owned by one family. They first sold ours, then theirs.
We have the best beach neighbors ever, the Parsons!

DIY Ostrich Feather Bag

DIY Ostrich Bag 8I finally realized it’d have to be a DIY Ostrich bag. If there’s one thing you might be realizing about me, it’s that I’m very persistent. And, if it has to do with getting a stylistic idea in my closet, I’m doubly persistent. This has been the case with Shana’s, of The Mom Edit, awesome ostrich bag. She’s informed all her readers that this bag is out of stock–but I kept looking. I went to Ebay and other second-hand shops, and I even bought a feeble attempt from Poshmark. With that ($15) purchase being a major disappointment, I set to making my own ostrich bag. It was way easier than I anticipated. And now, hopefully, I have a similar awesome bag to the ever so stylish Shana Christine. If I could come anything close to her Style Story I will feel accomplished. I love this woman!

1. Gather the Supplies:

DIY Ostrich Bag

I knew that I didn’t want to spend much on the actual bag of this DIY because the ostrich feathers were going to be the costliest part of this project. I found an excellent option for under $5 at my local Spokane Value Village with the help of a sweet, young sales lady also eager to see this project work. I decided to go with a fabric bag with the thoughts that the feather would adhere best to fabric. I was right. The other supplies needed aside from the bag were the feathers, scissors, and the 3-1 glue used from my DIY Fringe Sandals. I also must give a shout out to the sweet young lady at the Spokane Valley Joann’s where I purchased the feathers. She made sure to get me the best possible discount on my ostrich feathers.

2. Glue a Line, Attach the Feathers, and Press Down.

DIY Ostrich Bag 2

Start by sectioning off the bag. I had three parts: the front of the bag, the back, and the flap. I would start by glueing a line across a section. Then I would carefully attach a section of the feather to the glue and press down.

DIY Ostrich Bag 3

DIY Ostrich Bag 4

3. Snake Around each Section.

DIY Ostrich Bag 5

For each section I would snake the line of feather around. I would glue a line onto the fabric, attach the feather, and snake around. The gal at Joann’s had told me to do it this way so as to create a haphazard flow of the feather. If I would have gone on in the same direction the feathers would have appeared in lines. This snaking around was important for getting the same look as Shana’s bag.

4. Be Careful with the Glue!

DIY Ostrich Bag 6

Ostrich feathers are abundant! Right away I realized I’d have to be careful not to get the feathers all mucked up with glue. I gently would hold the previous line’s feathers aside and glue the next line. Granted with all the feathers, it’s difficult to mess up. This is a very easy DIY since the feathers are very forgiving.

Voila! Now I just can’t wait to try styling my new DIY Ostrich Bag. Hopefully I can attempt to be as effortless as Shana!

DIY Ostrich Bag 7

Note: Take Off Details Before

As a side note, I could have taken off the gold flap decoration before starting, but I wasn’t sure if I would keep it or not. In the end I tore it off with a bit of finagling.

Madewell Jeans: The Flea Market Flares

Madewell Jeans

Madewell jeans are a sure winner. It’s been ages, I mean ages since I bought a new pair of jeans. I think it was 2009 in an H&M in Paris when I bought three pairs of jeans and haven’t invested since. Now, though, my query is over thanks to my sister. She has these Madewell jeans in both white and blue. She let me borrow her blue pair for my quick week trip to Seattle. While they were actually too hot to ever wear out and about, I did style them in two ways, and I believe I am sold. They’re a heftier price than what I’m used to at $135 a pair, but I think they’re well worth the investment–especially since I tend to buy jeans every 6 years or so! The thing about flares like these however is a platform heel is necessary which is not a bad thing considering they’ll make me four inches taller. Now I just have to figure out the color….maybe Julie will let me test out the white pair too!

Madewell Jeans

Madewell Jeans

Madewell Jeans

Madewell Jeans

Madewell Jeans

How about you? Do you have a perfect pair of jeans that are worth the investment for you? What are they and just how high ($$$) will you go?

Some Outfit Details:

Sunnies: tortoise Tom Ford cat eyes AND Zara cream cat eyes
Tops: black bodysuit from Forever 21 AND Banana Republic cropped 3/4 sleeve shirt
Jeans: Madewell Flea Market Flares in Thom
Shoes: Mia sandal platforms
Bags: belt bag from Francesca’s AND turquoise beaded wrist bag from Goodwill

Style Story: 4th of July Style Spirit

The 4th of July Style Spirit is upon us, and I have no shortage. One of these days I will learn not to pack anything home! I arrive to see all sorts of perfect lake clothes including a plethora of red, white, and blue! The town of Spirit Lake, Idaho hosts a 4th of July parade each and every year, and I always like to dress the part. Every single one of these options–minus the block dress–was found in my drawers and closet here out at the lake. Now…which outfit should I wear for the parade? Last year I wore this Spirit Lake Spirit to the Main Street event.

Born to Reign

4th of July Style 9Ok, it is confirmed. I am an absolute sucker for a tee. I bought this cheeey, over-the-top Americana tee a few years back. It’s still perfect though with its bald eagle and semi truck. Well at least I think it’s spot-on! My cutoffs were made last summer with a prosperous trip to Spokane’s Value Village. These “vintage” cutoffs are Gloria Vanderbelt–a throw back to my teenage years!

Shirt Off My Back

4th of July Style 4This shirt has such a history! The short of it is I bought it, my sister loved it, and she took it (ok, I probably gave it to her–we have this unwritten agreement). Meanwhile, I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE! Then on a trip to Hong Kong, while I was still living in Beijing, I saw it at the Hong Kong Forever 21 in Causeway Bay. Well, I wasted no time. I picked it up, and I got another one for a friend. And since then, I’ve been able to emulate the way my sister wears hers so expertly. Oh, and the reason this styling is so good–she gave me these shorts too! Anything to copy Julie!!

4th of July Style 3I went back to Value Village again this summer, and…I found another pair of Gloria Vanderbelt jeans! This pair is high enough waisted and a little cropped. I might do a little of my own scissor tailoring but we’ll see. In my crop top post a while back, I didn’t mention this tip: layer a crop top with an open shirt. I’m showing just a little bit of tummy but not the full deal thanks to the coverage. A while ago (I don’t know how many summers….), Julie and I both bought this plaid shirt. It’s basically the perfect 4th of July plaid shirt. In fact, in our cabin bathroom, I have THE. BEST. PICTURE. of my sister in this shirt. Although she wore it tied at her waist with dark, dark denim (short) shorts! ;P

4th of July Style 8I wore this color block 4th of July goodness a few years ago for the Friday Harbor 4th of July Parade. We had visited the Brian Krembs’ family up in the San Juan Islands, and I wore this perfect little dress. I really haven’t worn it since, so I brought it on this trip thinking I could wear it to Spirit Lake’s parade on Saturday. Other than 4th of July, I don’t see this dress getting much action; it’s pretty much perfect for this holiday and this holiday only. At least that’s my opinion.

4th of July Style 7Oh! This dress is a goodie–with a history! Let’s see….it might be close to 20 years old!! I got it when my cousin Tim got married (which was long ago) in Portland. If you’ve ever been to Portland then you know how wonderful 23rd Ave is for shopping. I picked up this dress plus a couple others. This little polka dot goodness stays here ready for me to wear out at Spirit Lake. Yeehah!

Instagram @KrembdelaKremb: Vol 6

The school year 2014-2015 ended for us in June with the summer starting! Immediately after finishing up, the kids and I headed home with Kevin following a week later. We spent a week with my folks and then a week with Kevin’s. For the last weekend in June, I hosted a baby shower with my sisters. The weather has been beyond beautiful. The anticipation I usual have for cold weather in the Pacific Northwest has been replaced with temperatures in the 90s. Yes! To put it simply: June was AWESOME!

May Instagram @KrembdelaKremb

1. I went out on a (daring) whim and posted pictures of myself in a bikini that I think works perfectly for a woman over 40.

2. I hosted a bag giveaway where the winner was a tagged friend–someone one of my followers would think would like the bag. I was very happy when @jillmurdoch won!

3. I had another very powerful session working with Geneva from A Pair and a Spare. Geneva is a very successful blogger, so any of her tips, tricks, and especially advice on how to be a better blogger are very welcomed!

4. After a week in Spokane with my folks, we went over to enjoy the big city–Seattle! It was very fun (as usual).

5. A visit to Seattle would not be complete without a game at the ball park. Go Mariners!

6. I started a new book in a very idealic spot: Outlander from a chaise lounge at the Timberline Lodge up at Mt. Hood.

7. Sylvia from 40 Plus Style posted a style interview of me!

8. I was reunited with both my lovely sisters, Julie and Mary!

9. My sisters and I hosted a baby shower for my two brothers and their pregnant wives.

DIY Fringe Sandals

DIY Fringe Sandals 15

I had been on the lookout for some fringe sandals, but I could never find the perfect combo of fringe + sandal. It was at this point that I took matters in to my own hands! I knew fringe sandals would be the easiest of easies to make, so when I found the perfect pair of sandals at Target, I set my DIY project in motion. It was seriously easy!

1. Gather the supplies:

DIY Fringe Sandals 1

For this project I used a pair of sandals (I found my from target–they’ve got the perfect amount of heel), fringe, glue, and scissors. (The long toothpick is optional. My glue had an excellent applicator, so I ended up not needing the handy stick.)

2. Prep the sandals.

DIY Fringe Sandals 2

In order to get my sandal ready, I had to get rid of the buckle. I knew the fringe wouldn’t work over the buckle, and since this pair of sandals had a back zipper entrance, I simple cut off the buckle, glued the ankle strap together, and then reinforced it with two staples from a staple gun.

DIY Fringe Sandals 5

3. Prep the fringe.

DIY Fringe Sandals 6

Now that the sandal is ready, I measured out the fringe. I could have just used one fringe layer around, but instead I chose to have two layers. I first cut the bottom layer that would be attached half way down. I then measured out the top layer making this one just a smidgen longer to better cover up the zipper area.

4. Glue on the layers of fringe.

DIY Fringe Sandals 8

For the bottom layer of fringe I made a line of glue about 1/3 of the way down on the strap. This bottom layer would be the longer layer. After this layer was attached I added another round of glue closer to the top edge of the ankle strap, and then attached this layer. While attaching I just wound slowly around adhering the fringe in line with the glue. This step is very forgiving. Later once the glue dried, I was able to take off any excess sticky glue clumps.

DIY Fringe Sandals 9

DIY Fringe Sandals 10

5. Press the layers on.

DIY Fringe Sandals 11

An important thing to note is as I attached each layer of fringe, I spent some time really pressing the ankle strap and glue together. The glue dries pretty quickly, so not much pressing is needed, but this step helps to smooth out the fringe to ankle strap.

My new fringe sandals are ready. And I love them!

DIY Fringe Sandals 13

I let the glue set for about a half hour, and then, my new fringe sandals were ready to wear! Sometimes, I just prefer making my own trend. Now, if I’m really sold on this style, I could invest in a pair of fringe sandals, but for now, this pair does the trick.

DIY Fringe Sandals 14

DIY Summer Projects

While I am home for the summer and have access to stores like JoAnn’s Fabrics and Michael’s, I plan to make something once a week. Are there any DIY projects you’d like to see? Let me know, and I’ll give it a try.

Jumpsuit Monday: The Lounger

My Jumpsuit Monday series is coming to an end with this last Monday of June, but that by no means I won’t be sporting the this trend for the rest of the summer or even ever for that matter. (In fact as I write I am wearing this jumpsuit for a baby shower my sisters and I just hosted for my brothers and their pregnant wives.) I’ve shown you the romper last week. Before that there was the black jumpsuit, the day party jumpsuit, and the cocktail jumpsuit. This Monday for my final installment I simply styled the lounger jumpsuit. This is the one you want to wear lazily around the house (or anywhere for that matter) because it’s so comfortable. When you find this trend made out of the coziest cotton tee material go for it. This type is perfect for a day of lounging and working around the house, but then again it can also be easily dressed up with a statement necklaces and a pair of heels. The other item that might look a little odd in this post are my glasses. I must go see the optometrist since I cannot see out of my right eye. It’s very strange!



Style Story: Denim All Week

denim all weekDenim all week was worn all this week which made sense since it was a super casual week in Seattle. My friend Sheela from Sheela Writes prompted a no denim all last week via a challenge from The Man Repeller. Then, at the same exact time we said to each other, “Hey! Let’s wear denim all week this week instead!” For me it was easy. I basically lived in my Wrangler cutoffs. Then by Thursday I pulled out my denim cutoff skirt and finally on Friday I wore denim on top. Aside from denim my week was also filled with tees from sporting my baseball team (Go Mariners!) to graphic tees with quirky messages. Lately, I see one, read the message, and then think, Ya, I stand behind that! Take a look at my very casual week:

Day 1, Denim All Week:

Denim All WeekSince we went to a Mariner’s game it was pretty necessary that I wear a team tee. I really love the old school Mariner’s logo and look–which is making a very strong come back. In fact, the players wore this old style at the game we went too. Unfortunately they lost.

Day 2, Denim All Week:

Denim All WeekWe took a little road trip with my in-laws this week. We went to Mt. Hood in Oregon for two nights. Since we were going to be staying at the Timberline Lodge, I felt like I needed some extra protection. You see, this is the lodge that was used for the outside shots of the winter lodge in The Shining. No worries! We felt very safe. And the views and setting were AMAZING. I highly recommend this destinations as a very easy staycation in Seattle. (I’ll post more details on this outing later…)

Day 3, Denim All Week:

Denim All WeekOn our way back to Seattle, we stopped on the side of the road to complete this charming (and short) little walk to the Zig Zag waterfall. I love little pitstops that are so picturesque. And yes, this is the third day in a row that I wore my favorite Wrangler jean shorts!

Day 4, Denim All Week:

denim all weekThose jean shorts (obviously) needed washing, so I pulled out my cutoff jean skirt to add to the rotation. This is the graphic tee that I had to buy. I saw it at the Nordstrom Rack, and I was like, Ya, I totally agree! “Life is a party. Dress like it!” In a way, this kind of sums up my attitude toward getting dress as captured by this Style Story series.

Day 5, Denim All Week:

denim all weekAfter some sort of cutoff denim all week long, I tried to dress it up a bit on this last day of denim all week. Instead of denim on the bottom, I wore my denim blousy tee. This top is so comfy and I think looks nice. I paired it with my burnt orange suede shorts. And yes, that is a denim fanny pack that you see! Here’s to the bum bag/waist pack/belt bag, whatever you want to call it. I love all of them!

What’s more likely for you to have? A denim-less week or denim all week long? For summer, this week is definitely more of my Style Story.

The Fab 40s in Lace

Lace Coverup 7
Lace was The Fab 40s theme for this month of June. We’ve covered the color of the year, the jumpsuit trend plus the gingham trend, and now lace. In this one I think we are definitely all very different. That’s what’s so fun about this collaboration with Sheela, Dixie, Dawn Lucy, and Jane. We all have such different style and interpret a theme so differently. For me I repeated a resort look from a trip this last winter to a current summer beach trip in Hong Kong. Lace makes the perfect cover up in my opinion!

Sheela Writes

Sheela from Sheela Writes
I love how edgy Sheela’s look is. The pops of chartreuse in the shoes plus the hot pink from her hair add the perfect touch.

Outfit Details:
White Lace Top with Beaded Collar – Indie Label
Grey Knit Jogger Pants – Forever 21
Grey & Chartreuse Heels – JustFab
White Snakeskin Cuff – Unearthed
Gold Snakeskin Ring – Karla Deras
Brown Horn Ring – Walk in Wonderland
B&W Polka Dot Clutch – ElleBee2006

Inside Outer Style

Dixie from Inside Outer Style
As ever Dixie is supporting the classy, chic look.

Outfit Details:
Whit Jacket–Banana Republic
Lace Blouse–NYC Boutique
White Jeans–Zara
Shoe–Rebecca Taylor

Fashion Should Be Fun

Dawn Lucy from Fashion Should Be Fun
DL always manages to perfect the boho vibe. I love how comfortable but dressy this look is.

Outfit details:
Top–Lilly Pulitzer for Target
Skirt–Old Navy
Shoes–Italian Shoemakers Brand (DSW)
Wrap bracelet–Nakamol (via Rocksbox)
Straw bag–Burlington

My Midlife Fashion

Jane from My Midlife Fashion
Jane always knows how to dress so cool. It’s an every day look but made super hip by an angel wing top and studded shoes. Jane makes jeans look soooo good!

Outfit Details:
Bracelet–Coco Bay
Jeans–Mint Velvet

Lace Coverup 6

Lace Coverup 1

Lace Coverup 5

My Outfit Details:
Lace Tunic–TJ Maxx
Puca Shells–Puca Beach, Boracay