I love grains. It’s rare to have a meal in our house without a grain as a side dish (the usual suspect is brown rice). I am always up for experimenting with different grains – bulgur, farro, and this week: wheat berries. Wheat berries are very similar to farro, but a little sweeter. They are kernels of wheat and actually have a high protein content (hear that protein loving husband?). When cooking wheat berries, I always stick with the hard berries since they maintain their chewy texture. They take a while to cook (about an hour), but are well worth it. Also, I bought these wheat berries from the Farmer’s Market so they are a mix of white and red berries, but there is no nutritional difference in the color.
This easy side dish has you cook your wheat berries and then add cherries, toasted walnuts, and green onions. The cherries add a tartness and the walnuts add a nice crunch. If you don’t have cherries, feel free to use cranberries instead. I usually make this side for dinner and then the next day I top it with some tofu for lunch. Enjoy!
Wheat Berry Salad
Makes 6 Servings
- 1 1/2 cups hard wheat berries
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup tart dried cherries, chopped
- 1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water to come 2 inches over the wheat berries. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain and let cool (sometimes we eat ours warm).
- Meanwhile, in a medium dry skillet or toaster oven, toast the walnuts over medium-high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the wheat berries, walnuts, dried cherries, scallions, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Recipe adapted from Elie Krieger
If you are having trouble finding wheat berries, check your local farmer’s market or Amazon is a good bet as well.
Let me introduce you to my new favorite tee: simple, but with flair. I can wear it casually to the movies on the weekends or more dressed up to school during the week. I love the simple embellishment and the stripes (obviously). The tee comes in three colors (back , navy or red stripes) and each color is cuter than the next. J. Crew, you’ve done it again.
Shirt: J. Crew $50 (similar top by Gap for $30)
Tank: Gap $15
Pants: Jessica Simpson $60
Boots: Stuart Weitzman 50/50 Boots
Jacket: Splendid (Gap similar $100)
Bag: C. Wonder (similar $70)
PS thanks to the best husband ever for taking these pics and making me laugh before we rushed out the door to the movies.
Year 3 of the Turkey Day Recipe Round Up is here! Past posts are here and here (some great ideas in there). Yesterday Q and I tackled our grocery list and did our shopping before the madness begins this week.We LOVED spatchcocking our turkey last year and are going to be doing that again this year. I like traditional Thanksgiving dishes, but I also love doing things a little differently over here (green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup is out, farro, mushroom and green bean salad is in). What are you guys making? Traditional or a little out of the ordinary? Here are some unique ideas for your Thanksgiving dinner this year:
Appetizer: Spinach Artichoke Dip with Pita Chips (I Wash You Dry)
Appetizer: Cherry Brandy Baked Brie (Taste of Home)
Biscuits: Feta and Sour Cream Scones (Joy the Baker)
Rolls: Parmesan Garlic Knots (White on Rice Couple)
Turkey: How to Spatchcock a Turkey (Martha Stewart)
Potatoes: Mixed Potato Gratin (What’s Gaby Cooking)
Side: Wild Rice Gratin (Pink Parsley)
Potato: Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans and Coconut (Val Socal)
Stuffing: Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing (Food Network & Fork Knife Swoon)
*Just make sure to make your cornbread ahead of time so it has time to dry (I made mine today)
Pasta (a little different): Butternut Squash Pasta with Mushrooms (Running to the Kitchen)
Veggies: Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad (Closet Cook)
Veggie: Sweet and Spicy Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Chickpeas (TheKitchn)
Cranberry Sauce: Crockpot Apple and Cranberry Sauce (Cookin’ Canuck)
Dessert: Frosted Apple Slab Pie (Tracey’s Culinary Adventures)
Dessert: Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Smells Like Home)
Dessert: Easy Caramel Apple Cake (Koko Likes)
Dessert: Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie with Chocolate Almond Bark and Toffee Sauce (Tracey’s Culinary Adventures)
Dessert: Salted Caramel Cheesecake (Joy the Baker)
These amazing frames have quite the story. It all started during our trip to Savannah. Q and I wandered into this lovely shop, the Paris Market, and I found these wonderful pieces of culinary wrapping paper on sale for $5 each. And I had a vision. I thought, “how easy to buy these, go to Michael’s, frame um and hang um for a cheap DIY project!” Nope.
It started with the trip to Michael’s where our quote to custom frame EACH picture was $350. No thanks. So instead we decided to buy pre-cut frames at $45 each. But our wrapping paper sheets wouldn’t fit perfectly in the frames, so we had to custom order the matting only ($35 each). We sighed and took our plain black pre-cut frames home. So we framed our paper, and we liked it.
And then we had a vision: let’s spray paint our frames gold! So another trip to Michael’s to grab this amazing spray paint (Design Master Brilliant Gold ). When we took the frames off of the wall, Carl decided to play with a ball which hit the glass in one of the frames and broke it. Sigh. So we went to Lowe’s and bought replacement glass ($9). We brought it home and it wouldn’t fit in the frame. Damn. So Q took a day and all of his tools and sawed the frame down so the glass would fit. When we went to put the picture in, the new glass cracked. We were not thrilled.
So off to Michael’s we went to buy a fourth frame ($45). We came home and carefully spray painted them all gold. Spray painting was simple: we removed the glass, cleaned the frames well, dried them and then carefully spray painted them (a good tutorial is here). We didn’t use a primer since the frames were going to be inside and the black wood was easy to spray paint over.
We let the frames dry outside and once they were ready, we put the glass back in, set our custom mattes and placed our prints in. And ta da! We replaced a canvas print we had on the wall with our prints and they are perfect!
Bottom line? These frames were a labor of love. And they were a process. But we LOVE them and know they are one of a kind!
DIY Gold Frames
What did it take?
How to do it?
Follow these instructions and make sure to clean your frames thoroughly first!